Transcript: Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes - episode 3 | Dec 20, 2020

(WAVES CRASHING)

Fast clips show images of the sun setting over the River Nile.

Bettany is in her early fifties, with long wavy brown hair and wears and black skirt, a black lacey top, a denim shirt, and a pink scarf.

On a boat, she says I'M BETTANY HUGHES, AND
I WANT TO TAKE YOU ON THE
ULTIMATE ADVENTURE ACROSS
THE GREEK ISLANDS.
THIS HAS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST
EXCITING PLACES ON EARTH.
A PLACE FULL OF MYSTERY AND
WONDER, AND TENS OF THOUSANDS
OF YEARS OF HISTORY AND HUMAN
EXPERIENCE.
A CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION, THE
GREECE OF THE ANCIENT WORLD
HOT-HOUSED EVERYTHING FROM
DEMOCRACY TO MEDICINE.
IT GAVE US THE OLYMPICS,
ENGINEERING TRIUMPHS AND SOME
OF THE MOST EPIC STORIES OF
ALL TIME.

Fast clips show images of mythological paintings, statues, and activities such as archery and boxing.

Bettany says STORIES THAT HAVE BEEN PASSED
DOWN FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS,
AND THAT STILL INFLUENCE US
TODAY.
ONE OF THE VERY GREATEST
CENTRES ON THE GREEK HERO,
ODYSSEUS.
THE LEGENDARY WARRIOR WHOSE
CUNNING WON THE TROJAN WAR.
AFTER THE VICTORY, HE BEGINS
A LONG JOURNEY HOME TO THE FAR
WEST OF GREECE ACROSS THESE
SEAS.
HIS STORY,
THE ODYSSEY,
IS A
BRILLIANT TALE OF TRIUMPH OVER
ADVERSITY AND DANGER INSPIRING
BOOKS, MOVIES AND ADVENTURES.
AND ON MY PERSONAL ODYSSEY,
I'M FOLLOWING ODYSSEUS'S PATH
FROM EAST TO WEST.
I WANT TO TRY TO EXPERIENCE
WHAT HE EXPERIENCED.

As the boat sails in turbulent waters, Bettany gets splashed and says WHOA!

A man on the boat says LOOK OUT!

Bettany says MAKE AMAZING NEW DISCOVERIES.
IT'S STILL...

A woman unearths a piece of gold and says IT'S JUST PERFECT.

Bettany says BRIGHT YELLOW, ISN'T IT?
ENJOY THE DELIGHTS OF ANCIENT
GREECE TODAY...

She tastes some honey on bread and says MMM!

(music plays)

Bettany unveils a set of gold objects that include a gold mask, a gold ring, a gold necklace.

She says AND UNCOVER THE TRUTHS
BEHIND THESE FABULOUS MYTHS
AND LEGENDS...

She stands next to table with a skeleton and says AND THIS IS ALMOST CERTAINLY
THE KILLER BLOW... TO SEE HOW THEY CAN HELP US
UNDERSTAND THE WORLD AND
OURSELVES.
JOIN ME ON THIS EPIC VOYAGE,
MY GREEK ODYSSEY.
(WAVES CRASHING)

(music plays)

The name of the show reads "Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes."

Bettany says I'M CROSSING THE
AEGEAN SEA, ON THE TRAIL OF
THE LEGENDARY GREEK HERO
ODYSSEUS.

An animated map shows the route from Troy to Ithaca.

Bettany says LAST TIME, LIKE HIM, I RISKED
BEING SHIPWRECKED.

She says WHOA!

Bettany says THIS LEG OF MY JOURNEY BRINGS
ME TO SANTORINI, THERA FOR
THE ANCIENT GREEKS, WHERE I
DISCOVER THE ISLAND'S DEADLY
VOLCANO AND THE STORY OF THE
LOST CITY OF ATLANTIS.
THE MOST SOUTHERN OF THE
AEGEAN'S CYCLADIC ISLANDS,
IT'S A PLACE OF MYTH, FIRE
AND BRIMSTONE.
WITH BAD WEATHER FORECAST, I'M
TAKING THE FERRY CAPTAINED
BY MICHAEL.
ARE YOU FROM THE ISLANDS,
OR ARE YOU FROM ATHENS?

Michael is in his thirties, with short brown hair and a beard. He wears sunglasses and a captain's uniform.

Michael says I AM FROM CHIOS ISLAND.
YOU KNOW CHIOS ISLAND?

Bettany says CHIOS!
THAT'S WHERE I STARTED.

Michael says YOU KNOW CHIOS IS AN ISLAND,
MOST OF THE PEOPLE THERE ARE
SAILORS.

Bettany says I KNOW.

Michael says YES.

Bettany says I ALWAYS FEEL VERY SAFE IF
I'M ON A BOAT AND THE CAPTAIN IS
FROM CHIOS, I KNOW I'M GOING
TO BE OKAY.

Michael says THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH!
(BETTANY LAUGHING)

Bettany says BECAUSE I'M DOING THIS
JOURNEY ALL BY BOAT, WE GOT
STUCK IN SOME VERY BIG SEAS FROM
ICARIA TO MYKONOS, LIKE, IT WAS
QUITE TERRIFYING.

Michael says YOU KNOW, THE AEGEAN SEA IS
A VERY DIFFICULT SEA.
YOU HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION.

Bettany says YES.

Michael says EVERY TIME, EVERY DAY.

Bettany gets off the boat at the port and says THANK YOU.
EFCHARISTÓ, BYE.
SO, IT'S NOT THE PRETTIEST OF
PORTS TO ARRIVE TO AT SANTORINI,
BUT THIS IS AN ISLAND THAT'S HAD
AN EXPLOSIVE INFLUENCE ON
THE STORY OF THE WORLD.
I'M HERE OFF-SEASON AS THE
BULK OF THE TOURISTS ARE
LEAVING.

(HONKING)

Bettany says THEY WERE JUST HONKING
BECAUSE IT WAS THE LAST FERRY
OF THE SEASON, IS THAT RIGHT?

A woman says YES, IT'S CLOSING FOR SEASON
TODAY.

Bettany says THAT'S GREAT SO THEY ARE ALL
SAYING GOODBYE UNTIL NEXT YEAR.

says YES.

The woman says says OH, I'M GLAD I GOT HERE THEN.
SEE YA.
SANTORINI IS ONE OF THE MOST
POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN GREECE.
VISITORS ARE LURED HERE BY
THE ISLAND'S EPIC LANDSCAPES,
CROWDING ON CLIFF TOPS LIKE
OIA.

Bettany says THE SUNSET HERE AT SANTORINI
IS ONE OF THE MOST-VIEWED
SUNSETS ON EARTH, AND IT'S
ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL BUT,
IRONICALLY, THE STORIES I'M
INTERESTED IN AREN'T UP HERE,
BUT THEY'RE RIGHT DEEP IN THE
EARTH.
OIA PERCHES ON A CALDERA, THE
RIDGE OF A COLLAPSED VOLCANO.
THE CORE IS 389 METRES UNDER
WATER.
THIS BEAUTIFUL LAGOON HIDES
A GEOLOGICAL MONSTER, MORE
FEROCIOUS THAN ANY MYTHICAL
BEAST.
SANTORINI IS ONE, GIANT
VOLCANO.
BACK IN THE BRONZE AGE,
WHEN ODYSSEUS' STORY BEGINS,
IT ERUPTED WITH THE FORCE OF
3,000 ATOMIC BOMBS.
A BOAT TRIP IS THE BEST WAY
TO GET A SENSE OF THIS
VOLCANO'S MEGA-SCALE.

Riding a cable car, Bettany says WHEN I FIRST CAME HERE, THE
ONLY WAY TO GET UP AND DOWN THE
SIDES OF THE VOLCANO WAS BY
MULE OR DONKEY.
NOW, THERE'S A CABLE CAR.
I ACTUALLY THINK I FELT SAFER
ON THE MULE, TO BE HONEST.
ANYWAY, BUT WE'RE DOWN AT
THE PORT NOW.

On a boat, Bettany says RIGHT NOW, I'M HEADING TO THE
HEART OF A VOLCANO THAT ERUPTED
OVER 3,600 YEARS AGO IN WHAT WAS
THE MOST CATASTROPHIC VOLCANIC
EXPLOSION IN THE WHOLE OF HUMAN
HISTORY.
THESE CLIFFS BEHIND ME, WHAT
YOU'RE LOOKING AT IS THE
CRATER OF A VOLCANO RISING UP
OUT OF THE SEA.
AND THE SEA THAT I'M TRAVELLING
ACROSS NOW, WAS ONCE THE CONE OF
THE VOLCANO, 14 CUBIC MILES OF
IT THAT WAS BLOWN INTO THE SKY.
ONGOING ERUPTIONS SPEWED UP
THESE VOLCANIC ROCKS INSIDE
SANTORINI'S LAGOON, A REMINDER
THIS WHOLE VOLCANO IS STILL
ACTIVE AFTER ALL THESE
CENTURIES.
LUCKILY, VOLCANOLOGIST GEORGE
VOUGIOUKALAKIS HAS AGREED
TO GUIDE ME TO THE CENTRE
OF ACTIVITY.

She gets off the boat and says GREAT, THANK YOU.
PERFECT, THANKS.

Bettany says SOME OF THE GASES HERE CAN
KILL YOU IF YOU STAND IN THE
WRONG PLACE FOR TOO LONG, SO
WE'VE GOT TO TREAD CAREFULLY.
BUT 3,000 YEARS AGO, THEY HAD
A LOT MORE THAN JUST GASES TO
WORRY ABOUT.
SO, THIS HUGE ERUPTION, HOW
WIDE-REACHING WERE THE IMPACTS
FROM THAT?

George is in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short gray hair. He wears a blue and white embroidered shirt and a Panama hat.

He says "It's one of the two largest eruptions that human beings have witnessed, that was really cataclysmic."

Bettany says THERA TRIGGERED THE ANCIENT
WORLD'S BIGGEST CLIMATE
CATASTROPHE.
ASH DEPOSITS FROM THIS
DEVASTATING ERUPTION HAVE BEEN
FOUND IN THE NILE IN EGYPT, AND
TREES WERE AFFECTED AS FAR AWAY
AS IRELAND.
BUT IT HAS KEPT ON ERUPTING,
HASN'T IT, THIS VOLCANO?

George says "In 2011, 2012 we had a crisis, an awakening of the volcano. Usually, per year, there are about 9 seismic events. But in the crisis period there were more than 10,000."

Bettany says WOW, 10,000!

George says "10,000 quakes, yes. Hundreds of earthquakes per day sometimes."

Bettany says I MEAN, THAT'S SERIOUS,
ISN'T IT?

George says "Yes, it's active and it can reactivate at any time in the future."

Bettany says WHEN IS IT GOING TO ERUPT
NEXT, DO YOU THINK?

George says "We don't know exactly."

Bettany says IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN ON
THAT SCALE?

George says "Yes, we are ready to act in case of another volcanic eruption."

Bettany says COMFORTING, YOU'RE A VERY
COMFORTING PRESENCE, GEORGE, AS
WE STAND HERE RIGHT IN THE VERY
HEART OF THE VOLCANO.

George says "Yes, we respect it, and we expect it to respect us."

Bettany says THE GREEKS, IN HISTORY AND
IN STORIES LIKE ODYSSEUS'S,
THOUGHT NATURAL DISASTERS WERE
THE WRATH OF ANGRY GODS.
FOR THE ANCIENT GREEKS, GODS
AND GODDESSES AND DEMIGODS WERE
EVERYWHERE AND IN EVERYTHING.
AND IN FACT, THEY DIDN'T HAVE
A SEPARATE WORD FOR RELIGION.
ASKING A GREEK IF HE BELIEVED
IN THE GODS WOULD BE LIKE ASKING
HIM IF HE BELIEVED IN THE SEA.
THERE WERE 12 PREMIER GODS
WHO LIVED ON MOUNT OLYMPUS,
AND PROBABLY THE MOST FAMOUS ARE
ZEUS, THE KING OF THE GODS, AND
HIS WIFE HERA; APOLLO, THE GOD
OF THE SUN AND HIS TWIN SISTER
ARTEMIS, THE GODDESS OF THE
MOON; APHRODITE, THE GODDESS OF
LOVE AND SEXUAL DESIRE, WHOSE
LOVER WAS ARES THE GOD OF WAR;
AND POSEIDON, THE GREAT GOD OF
THE SEA AND STORMS AND
EARTHQUAKES.
POSEIDON-- WELL, A NUMBER OF
THE GODS-- HAD IT IN FOR
ODYSSEUS.
THEY DESPISED HIS HUBRIS AND
COLD-BLOODED KILLING OF
SOLDIERS AND INNOCENTS ALIKE.
SO, THEY PLAGUED HIS JOURNEY
HOME FROM TROY WITH CHALLENGES
AND LIFE-THREATENING STORMS.
THE GREEKS BELIEVED THAT THE
GODS WERE BIGGER, BRIGHTER,
SHINIER VERSIONS OF THEMSELVES.
THEY WERE IMMORTAL, BUT THEY
WERE NOT BY ANY MEANS PERFECT.
IN FACT, THEY WERE INCREDIBLY
FLAWED, SO THEY GOT DRUNK AND
FLEW INTO BLIND RAGES AND HAD
AFFAIRS WITH ONE ANOTHER'S
WIVES.
BUT THE GREEKS CONSTANTLY TOLD
STORIES ABOUT THEM TO TRY TO
UNDERSTAND THE WORLD AROUND THEM
AND THEIR PLACE IN IT.

She gets help as she steps on a boat and says THANK YOU.
THE GREEKS MAY NO LONGER
BELIEVE THE SEA IS DIVINE,
BUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH IT
IS STILL A VITAL PART OF
DAILY LIFE, AND SANTORINI
PIONEERED SAILING TECHNOLOGY
CENTURIES BEFORE OTHER
CIVILIZATIONS IN THE AEGEAN.
HOW LONG HAS YOUR FAMILY BEEN
DOING THESE BOATS HERE?

The boat owner says MY FAMILY, 300 YEARS ON
THE ISLAND.

Bettany says 300 YEARS?

The boat owner says THREE, YEAH, YEAH, 300 YEARS.

Bettany says WERE THEY FISHERMEN, OR...

The boat owner says YEAH, FISHERMEN.
GRANDFATHER FISHERMAN,
FISHERMEN.

Bettany says GREAT.
WELL, THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME
THE LIFT TODAY.
THANK YOU.

(music plays)

Bettany says IT'S A PROUD TRADITION WHICH
CARRIED ON HERE RIGHT THROUGH
TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY.
I THOUGHT I JUST HAD TO SHOW YOU
THIS.
SO, I HAVE BEEN GIVEN A TIP-OFF
ACTUALLY BY AN ARCHAEOLOGIST
FRIEND THAT THERE IS SOMETHING
RATHER SPECIAL IN HERE.
WHAT'S THIS?
OH, IT'S AN OAR.
THIS IS BRILLIANT BECAUSE THIS
IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE LAST
REMAINING BOAT-BUILDING SHED
IN SANTORINI.
A NICE TOUCH THERE, PROTECTED
BY AN OAR, AND THE FAMILY WHO
OWN IT HAVE AGREED TO SHOW ME
IN, IF THEY'RE HERE.

She knocks and says KALIMERA.

The owner of the oar says OH, KALIMERA!

Bettany says HI!
(SPEAKING GREEK)
OH, LOVELY TO MEET YOU.
(LAUGHING)
VERY WARM WELCOME.
(SPEAKING GREEK)
(LAUGHING)
(WHISPERING INDISTINCTLY)

The woman opens the oar gate for her.

Bettany says WOW, WOW, WHAT A PLACE,
WHAT A PLACE!
I KNOW IT HASN'T BEEN USED
FOR 50 YEARS OR SO, AND YOU CAN
JUST SMELL THE HISTORY HERE.
SO, THERE, THOSE ARE THE MOULDS
THAT THEY'D HAVE USED TO MAKE
THE BOATS.
SO, EACH BOAT HAD ITS OWN MOULD,
IT WAS MADE IN A KIND OF
BESPOKE WAY.
UP AT THE BACK THERE, THERE'S A
KIND OF FOREST OF ABANDONED WOOD
AND A LOT OF THAT WOULD HAVE
COME FROM SAMOS.
AN ISLAND I'VE VISITED
ON MY ODYSSEY!
AND THERE'S ACTUALLY A TREASURE
CHEST, I DON'T KNOW IF I'M
ALLOWED TO OPEN IT.
NOT GOLD AND SILVER, NOT
PIRATES' TREASURE, BUT
HISTORICAL TREASURE.
SO, HERE ARE ALL THE SHIPS' LOGS
AND RECORDS, AND THAT IS GOING
TO TELL US A WHOLE LOT ABOUT
THE PAST.
IT'S ACTUALLY REALLY MOVING
COMING HERE, BECAUSE THEY'VE
BEEN BUILDING SHIPS ON SANTORINI
SINCE PREHISTORY, WAR SHIPS
AND MERCHANT VESSELS AND HEROIC
BOATS, AND SO, THE FACT THAT
THIS VERY LAST BOAT-BUILDING
YARD HAS BEEN ABANDONED,
YOU KNOW, IT DOESN'T JUST FEEL
LIKE IT'S THE END OF AN ERA.
IT FEELS LIKE IT'S THE END
OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS WORTH
OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE.
BUT THIS ISN'T THE ONLY TIME
CAPSULE ON THE ISLAND.
NEXT, MY ODYSSEY ON SANTORINI
REVEALS THE SITE OF A
PREHISTORIC, LOST CITY.
NOW, YOU'RE IN FOR A BIT OF A
TREAT, BECAUSE I THINK THAT THIS
IS ONE OF THE MOST INSPIRING
PLACES IN THE ANCIENT WORLD.
IN THE AGE OF HEROES,
SANTORINI WAS A RICH TRADING
HUB.
FROM UNDER THE PUMICE, LAVA
AND ASH IN THE SOUTH OF THE
ISLAND, ARCHAEOLOGISTS ARE
UNEARTHING AKROTIRI, A
SETTLEMENT DUBBED "THE POMPEII
OF GREECE," WHICH PREDATES THE
ROMANS BY WELL OVER A THOUSAND
YEARS!
THE APOCALYPTIC ERUPTION OF
SANTORINI AROUND 1615 B.C.
COVERED THE TOWN OF AKROTIRI
WITH METRES OF VOLCANIC DEBRIS,
CONCEALING A TREASURE, AND I'VE
BEEN GIVEN SPECIAL ACCESS TO
WHAT'S HIDDEN HERE.
THE VOLCANO DIDN'T JUST DESTROY,
IT ALSO PRESERVED, AND SOMETHING
TRULY REMARKABLE.
AN ENTIRE PREHISTORIC
CIVILIZATION DATING BACK OVER
3,600 YEARS.

She walks through a site with ancient houses covered in volcanic material and says ACROSS THE SITE, YOU GET A REAL
SENSE OF THE POWER OF THE
VOLCANO.
SO, THESE ARE THE WALLS OF
HOUSES WHERE PEOPLE WOULD HAVE
BEEN LIVING.
ABOVE THEM THERE, YOU'VE GOT
THE FIRST PHASE OF THE ERUPTION.
YOU'VE GOT QUITE A LOT OF ROCKS
AND STONES IN THE PUMICE.
AND THEN, A FINAL LAYER OF ASH,
THE SECOND PHASE OF THE ERUPTION
ABOVE.
THIS IS JUST A TINY, TINY, TINY
PROPORTION OF THE MATERIAL THAT
LANDED ON THE TOWN.
SO, IT WAS SMOTHERED WITH 40
METRES' WORTH OF VOLCANIC
ERUPTIVE MATERIAL.
THE TERRIBLE THING IS THAT
THE PEOPLE HERE DID ACTUALLY
HAVE FOREWARNING OF THE
DISASTER.
SO, A COUPLE OF WEEKS BEFORE
THE ERUPTION, THERE WERE
EARTHQUAKES, AND WE KNOW THAT
BECAUSE PEOPLE HAVE DONE THINGS
LIKE WRAPPED UP THEIR MOST
VALUABLE POSSESSIONS AND STORED
THEM CAREFULLY IN THE CORNERS OF
ROOMS, OR HERE, YOU CAN SEE
THEY'VE ACTUALLY TAKEN THEIR
BEDS OUTSIDE.
SO, THEY EVACUATED THE TOWN,
THEN THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE AND
CAME BACK ONLY TO BE WIPED OUT
BY THE VOLCANO.
THIS EXQUISITE GOLD IBEX, A
BREED OF MOUNTAIN GOAT
MENTIONED IN
THE ODYSSEY,
HAS BEEN FOUND IN THE RUINS.
SO FAR, ONLY A FRACTION OF THE
SITE HAS BEEN EXCAVATED AND
WE NOW ACTUALLY THINK IT'S TEN
TIMES BIGGER THAN WE PREVIOUSLY
THOUGHT, AND THERE ARE NEW
ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS
HAPPENING RIGHT NOW.
GOSH, IT'S VERY EXCITING TO
BE THIS CLOSE BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT
NORMALLY ALLOWED TO COME UP
TO THE BUILDINGS LIKE THIS.
SO, THIS IS A VERY TYPICAL
HOUSE FOR THE PEOPLE OF
AKROTIRI.
THEY OFTEN HAVE THESE BIG,
WIDE, VERY KIND OF WELCOMING
OPEN DOORS, ALWAYS WITH A WINDOW
NEXT TO THEM.
AND INSIDE, YOU CAN JUST SEE
THIS KIND OF LIFE INTERRUPTED,
SO THERE'S A LITTLE STONE BENCH
WHERE THEY SAT AND PASSED
THE TIME OF DAY.
A STORAGE JAR FOR FOOD OR WINE,
AND THEN, UNDERNEATH HERE
THERE'S ACTUALLY A MILLSTONE,
SO WE KNOW THAT THE PEOPLE WHO
LIVED HERE WERE SOMEHOW INVOLVED
IN HELPING TO BAKE BREAD FOR
THEIR COMMUNITY.
IT'S SO QUIET HERE NOW, BUT OF
COURSE, IT WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE
BEEN BUZZING AND HUMMING WITH
LIFE.
SO, IT'S A PRIVILEGE TO BE HERE,
BUT IT'S ALSO QUITE
HEART-BREAKING.
THERE ARE WHOLE STREETS HERE
WITH BUILDINGS TWO OR THREE
STOREYS HIGH.
INSIDE THERE, THERE WOULD HAVE
BEEN BRIGHTLY PAINTED FRESCOES
THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENJOYED
INSIDE THE HOUSE, BUT ALSO
VISIBLE FROM OUTSIDE.
THEY TELL US ABOUT LIFE IN
AKROTIRI AND THAT, JUST LIKE
ODYSSEUS, THE INHABITANTS FACED
ADVENTURES ON THE HIGH SEAS,
EVEN SHIPWRECKS, AND WERE
SOPHISTICATED MASTER MARINERS.

She walks in a museum and says THIS IS WHERE AKROTIRI'S
TREASURES ARE KEPT.
STUNNING PAINTINGS DECORATED
MANY OF AKROTIRI'S HOMES.
AREN'T THEY BEAUTIFUL?
THE FIRST THING THAT STRIKES
YOU IS JUST HOW INCREDIBLY WELL
DONE THESE ARE.
IF YOU THINK OF THE ANCIENT
EGYPTIAN ART OF THIS TIME, WHICH
IS ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL, IT'S
QUITE STIFF AND FORMAL, WHEREAS
THESE PAINTINGS JUST FLOW ACROSS
THE WALLS.
THEY'RE MONKEYS, OBVIOUSLY, AND
NATURE CROPS UP THE WHOLE TIME
IN THESE PAINTINGS.
ANIMALS ARE VERY ENTWINED
WITH HUMANS AROUND THEM.
THE COLOUR IS JUST INCREDIBLE,
TOO.
YOU'VE GOT THIS BEAUTIFUL,
BEAUTIFUL BLUE, AND IN SOME OF
THE HOUSES WE'VE ACTUALLY FOUND
POTS WITH PAINT PIGMENT STILL
IN THEM, SO WE THINK THAT THE
PAINTINGS WERE BEING DONE
AS THE VOLCANO ERUPTED.

(music plays)

Bettany says THE MURALS SHOW BOXING BOYS,
MYSTICAL SCENES AND THE BEAUTY
OF THE NATURAL WORLD.
ONE OF THE REASONS I LOVE THIS
SITE IS BECAUSE THERE ARE THESE
AMAZING WOMEN EVERYWHERE.
THIS ONE THAT YOU'RE LOOKING
AT HERE ACTUALLY COMES FROM
SOMEWHERE CALLED THE HOUSE
OF THE LADIES.
NAMED FOR THE WOMEN IN THESE
FRESCOES.
ISN'T SHE GORGEOUS?
WE KNOW SHE'S A MATURE WOMAN
BECAUSE HER HAIR IS ALLOWED TO
GROW AND KIND OF SNAKE DOWN HER
BACK.
SHE'S GOT THIS LOVELY HOOP
EARRING AND HER BODICE HAS BEEN
DYED IN SAFFRON, WHICH GREW ON
THE ISLAND AND WAS CONSIDERED
TO BE A KIND OF MAGICAL FLOWER,
BECAUSE THEY USED IT IN COOKING
AND AS A DYE, AND IT HAS
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES, TOO.
AND THEN, OVER HERE, YOU'VE GOT
THIS OTHER GORGEOUS WOMAN
UNDERNEATH THE STARS.
YOU CAN'T FAIL TO NOTICE THAT
SHE'S BARE-BREASTED AND A LOT
OF THE WOMEN ARE, SO THEY HAVE
THESE DRESSES KIND OF CUT AWAY,
AND WE THINK THIS IS PROBABLY TO
SHOW HER STATUS OR TO CELEBRATE
SOME KIND OF RELIGIOUS CEREMONY
OR FESTIVAL, BUT WHATEVER THE
REASON, SHE IS JUST GORGEOUS.

(music plays)

Bettany says THE VOLCANO WHICH BURIED
AKROTIRI WASN'T JUST A
CATASTROPHE FOR THE INCREDIBLE
PEOPLE WHO LIVED HERE.
IT MAY ALSO EXPLAIN ONE OF THE
MOST ENDURING LEGENDS EVER
TOLD.
THE STORY OF ATLANTIS IS ONE OF
THE GREATEST MYTHS OF ALL TIME.
IT TELLS OF THIS MAGNIFICENT,
GLITTERING CIVILIZATION
SURROUNDED BY CIRCULAR BELTS
OF LAND AND SEA, THAT BASICALLY
BECAME TOO PROUD OF ITSELF AND
WAS PUNISHED BY BEING SWALLOWED
UP OVER A DAY AND A NIGHT
BY THE SEA.
WELL, SURELY, THAT HAS TO HAVE
ITS FOUNDATION IN WHAT HAPPENED
HERE ON SANTORINI WHERE YOU HAVE
A BEAUTIFUL, SOPHISTICATED
CULTURE THAT'S THE ENVY OF ALL
AROUND IT, BUT THAT SUFFERS A
TERRIBLE, CATACLYSMIC DISASTER,
AND ENDS UP BEING BURIED UNDER
METRES OF PUMICE, AND ASH
AND WAVES.
I DO LOVE THE MYTH OF
ATLANTIS, AND THIS PLACE,
BECAUSE IT FEELS LIKE SOMEWHERE
WHERE FACT AND FANTASY COLLIDE,
AND I ALSO LOVE THE MORAL OF THE
TALE THAT WE CAN TAKE THINGS FOR
GRANTED, WE CAN BE COMPLACENT,
AND THAT PRIDE SOMETIMES CAN
COME BEFORE A FALL.

(music plays)

Bettany says MY GREEK ISLAND ODYSSEY IS
INSPIRED BY THE VOYAGE OF THE
HERO ODYSSEUS.
LIKE HIM, I'M BEING LURED FROM
ISLAND TO ISLAND, AND THE NEXT
STOP ON MY JOURNEY IS FAMOUS
FOR SOME OF THE MORE TEMPTING
THINGS IN LIFE.

The animated map now shows the route from Santorini to Naxos.

Bettany says NAXOS IS AN ISLAND OF PLEASURES
AND TREASURES, WITH A
REPUTATION FOR PRODUCING SOME
OF THE MOST ENTICING WINE
IN THE MED.
MIND YOU, I SHOULD BE WARY
OF TOO MUCH TEMPTATION, JUST
AS ODYSSEUS DISCOVERED IN
THE ODYSSEY
WITH THE MYTH
OF THE SIRENS.
NOW, THE SIRENS WERE THESE
STRANGE BIRD-LIKE CREATURES.
WOMEN WITH WINGS AND CLAWS WHO
HAD A BEAUTIFULLY, IRRESISTIBLY
SWEET SONG, AND THEY WOULD LURE
MEN TO DEATH ON THE ROCKS
BY SINGING OUT TO THEM.
NOW, ODYSSEUS, BEING A BIT OF
AN ADVENTURER, WANTS TO HEAR
THE SIRENS' SONG, SO HE GETS HIS
SAILORS TO STRAP HIM TO A MAST
AND PLUGS THEIR EARS WITH
BEESWAX SO THEY CAN'T HEAR.
HE BEGS TO BE RELEASED SO HE
CAN FOLLOW THE SIREN CALL, BUT
THE SAILORS REFUSE TO UNTIE THE
ROPES, AND IT'S A FANTASTIC
STORY ACTUALLY ABOUT EXPOSING
OURSELVES TO THE DANGERS
OF TEMPTATIONS, BUT ALSO ALWAYS
KNOWING WHEN TO RESIST.
AND, I HAVE TO SAY, I AM NOW
BEING LURED TO THIS ISLAND,
WHICH IS NAXOS.
I'M FOLLOWING ITS SIREN CALL
BECAUSE THIS IS AN ISLAND FAMOUS
FOR ITS WINE, AND EVEN MORE
FAMOUS FOR ITS ANCIENT
CELEBRATION OF WINE AND THE GOD
OF WINE, DIONYSUS.
THE ANCIENT GREEKS REVERED
DIONYSUS AS THE GOD OF WINE,
NATURE AND ECSTASY.
IT WAS SAID HE WAS RAISED ON
NAXOS AND LURKED IN ITS RICH
FORESTS.
THERE ARE CLUES CARVED IN THE
VERY EARTH ITSELF AS TO HOW
MASSIVE DIONYSUS WAS ON NAXOS,
AND I'M HEADING TO ONE.

She walks by a big statue of Dionysus carved in a quarry and says WHAT YOU GOT HERE TELLS US THAT
CRAFTSMEN FROM THE ANCIENT WORLD
WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE CARVED THEIR
SCULPTURES IN SITU IN A QUARRY
LIKE THIS, USING THE NATURAL
SEAMS IN THE ROCK, AND IT'S
PRETTY MARVELOUS BECAUSE I'M
WALKING ON THE VERY STEPS THAT
THOSE CRAFTSMEN WOULD HAVE MADE
IN THE ANCIENT WORLD.
ALTHOUGH THERE WAS OBVIOUSLY
A PROBLEM WITH THIS ONE, BECAUSE
IT'S BEEN LEFT UNFINISHED.
BUT, THERE'S A FANTASTIC CLUE
AS TO WHO THIS WAS.
HE'S GOT A BEARD, AND AT THAT
THIS TIME, IT WAS REALLY UNUSUAL
FOR SCULPTURES TO HAVE BEARDS
APART FROM THE GOD OF WINE
DIONYSUS.
SO, WHAT YOU'VE ALMOST CERTAINLY
GOT HERE IS THE GREAT GOD
DIONYSUS LYING IN STONE FORM.
AND BOY, WOULD HE HAVE MADE
AN IMPRESSION.
THERE IS ONE THING TO REMEMBER
ABOUT THIS SCULPTURE, THAT IF IT
HAD BEEN FINISHED, IT WOULDN'T
HAVE BEEN LEFT THIS BEAUTIFUL,
CRYSTALLINE, REFINED MARBLE
WHITE.
IT WOULD HAVE BEEN PAINTED IN
WHAT ARE FRANKLY PRETTY GARISH
COLOURS BECAUSE THE GREEKS
COVERED THEIR SCULPTURES AND
STATUES IN BRONZE AND GOLD, AND
THESE FRANKLY, RATHER LURID
HUES.

She shows a picture of the Parthenon and says SO, IF YOU LOOK AT THIS, FOR
INSTANCE, ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS
BUILDINGS OF ALL PROBABLY, THE
PARTHENON IN ATHENS, ON THE TOP
OF THE ACROPOLIS.
JUST LOOK AT THIS, THE CARYATIDS
ARE BRIGHT BLUE AND A HORRIBLE
PINK AND GREEN, SO THE PALACES
OF THE ANCIENT WORLD WOULDN'T
HAVE BEEN THIS SORT OF CLASSICAL
BEAUTY, BUT A BIT MORE LIKE
A FAIRGROUND.
THE TRADITION OF MARBLE
SCULPTURE DATES BACK EVEN
FURTHER, WHEN NAXOS AND OTHER
CYCLADIC ISLANDS PIONEERED SOME
OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL ART
IN THE WORLD.

She shows small marble sculptures of women with their arms crossed around their bodies and and says ONLY AROUND 1,500 OF THESE
INCREDIBLE THINGS HAVE BEEN
DISCOVERED, AND MOST OF THEM ARE
OF WOMEN, OR AT LEAST THE
FEMALE FORM.
BUT IT IS JUST SO TANTALIZING,
BECAUSE WE DON'T ACTUALLY KNOW
WHAT THEY WERE USED FOR.
WE DON'T KNOW WHETHER THEY WERE
FERTILITY SYMBOLS, OR GODS OR
GODDESSES OR INDIVIDUAL PEOPLE,
BUT WHAT YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER IS
THAT THESE ARE ALL AT LEAST
4,500 YEARS OLD.
SO, OH, MY GOODNESS, IF THEY
COULD SPEAK, WHAT INCREDIBLE
SECRETS THEY'D BE ABLE TO SHARE.
AND THE ONE THING THAT THESE
FIGURINES DO TELL US IS THAT
THOSE EARLY ISLANDERS MUST HAVE
FELT DEEPLY CONNECTED TO THE
EARTH AROUND THEM.
AND I SHOULD JUST TELL YOU ONE
OTHER THING.
YOU CAN SEE THAT THEY'VE GOT
BEAUTIFUL, SMOOTH AND CURVED,
AND THERE'S A KIND OF SHEEN ON
THE MARBLE.
WELL, THEY ACHIEVED THAT
THROUGH USING EMERY, EXACTLY
LIKE THE EMERY BOARDS THAT WE
USE FOR OUR NAILS TODAY.
SO, IT'S SOMETHING THAT
CONNECTS US TO THEM ACROSS
THE MILLENNIA.

(music plays)

Bettany says OF ALL THE GREEK GODS, DIONYSUS
IS ONE OF THE FEW STILL
CELEBRATED TODAY.
THE FACT HE'S THE GOD OF WINE
AND PARTYING IS PROBABLY A BIG
CLUE AS TO WHY!
MY TRIP TO NAXOS COINCIDES WITH
THE ANNUAL CELEBRATIONS, AND
I'VE BEEN INVITED TO THE
VILLAGE OF EGGARES.
THESE PARTIES HAVE BEEN
HAPPENING AT THIS TIME OF YEAR,
SOMETIMES ON EXACTLY THIS DAY,
FOR AT LEAST 2,500 YEARS.
AND THE POINT OF THEM WAS TO
CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF THE NEW
WINE AFTER WINTER, AND IT'S
OFTEN WHERE YOUNG KIDS WOULD BE
GIVEN THEIR FIRST DRINK.
SO, I MEAN THERE'S A WHOLE LOT
TO THEM.
THEY KIND OF REALLY MEAN LOTS
OF THINGS, BUT IT'S ALSO WHERE
PEOPLE BASICALLY GET HAMMERED.
(GREEK MUSIC PLAYING)

At the party, Bettany says MY GOSH, IT IS SO, IT'S HOT
IN THERE, ISN'T IT?

A man says SURE.

Bettany says REALLY HOT.

The man in traditional Greek attire that consists of a shirt covered in handkerchiefs and a skirt.

He and says SO, FIRST OF ALL, YOU HAVE TO
THROW THAT AWAY, AND YOU WILL
DRINK THE WINE THAT I DRINK.
THE GUYS ARE DRESSED WITH ME,
LIKE ME.

Bettany says OKAY.
CAN I JUST SAY THAT LOOKS, IT
LOOKS QUITE HOMEMADE?
AM I RIGHT TO SAY THAT THIS IS
HOMEMADE WINE THAT WE'RE HAVING?

The man says EVERYTHING THAT YOU WOULD
DRINK OVER HERE, IT'S HOMEMADE.

Bettany says GREAT.

The man says EVERYBODY HAS THE GRAPES OVER
HERE, AND THEY DO IT.

Bettany says OKAY.
YOU'RE HAVING SOME, AS WELL?

The man says CHEERS.

Bettany says CHEERS, YAMAS!

The man says WELCOME TO OUR VILLAGE.
YAMAS!

Bettany says YAMAS, EFCHARISTÓ.

The man says ENJOY THE WHOLE EVENT.

Bettany says I WILL, OKAY.

She takes a zip and says OH.
THAT'S ACTUALLY MUCH NICER THAN
THE ONE I WAS JUST DRINKING.

The man says OF COURSE.

Bettany says THAT IS REALLY NICE.
SO, YOU'VE JUST GOT TO TELL ME
WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ALL THESE
HANKIES?

The man says THESE ARE USUALLY FROM BRIDES
THAT ARE MARRIED THIS YEAR.

Bettany says YEAH.

The man says AND THEY USUALLY HAVE ONE
OF THESE ON THEIR HAND.
WE BRING THEM OVER HERE,
THEY PLAY A CERTAIN MUSIC
SO WE DANCE WITH THEM,
AND IT'S LIKE A GAME, LET'S SAY.

Bettany says YEAH.

The man says THAT WE TRY ON THE DANCE TO
GET, TO HOLD THE...

Bettany says TO STEAL THE HANKIE.

The man says YEAH, TO STEAL IT.

Bettany says OKAY, SO THE MAN THAT'S GOT
THE MOST HANKIES IS THE MOST
SUCCESSFUL AT STEALING HANKIES
FROM LADIES.

The man says YEAH.
YOU DANCE, YOU GET IT, AND THEN
WHEN YOU FINISH, HE GOES TO THE
WOMAN THAT HE MAKES HIS COSTUME.

Bettany says YEAH.

The man says AND HE PUTS IT ON THE
COSTUME.

Bettany says OKAY, SO I'VE SORTED OUT
THE HANKIES.
WHAT ABOUT THE LOVELY SKIRT
THAT YOU'RE WEARING?

The man says SO, IT WAS USUALLY A SHEET
FROM A BED.
THEY USED TO MAKE THE LETTERS
OF THE NAMES, LIKE MINE, ARE
OVER HERE.

Bettany says NICE.

The man says SOME GUYS, THEY HAVE IT
ON THE SIDE.

Bettany says YEAH, AND I'M, THIS IS SO
FORWARD OF ME BECAUSE I DON'T
KNOW YOU, BUT JUST NOW, THE
WIND BLEW UP YOUR SKIRT AND
YOU'RE WEARING LOVELY BLOOMERS.
(LAUGHING)

The man says SO, THESE WERE FROM THE
GRANDMAS.

Bettany says GRANDMOTHER'S BLOOMERS.

The man says YEAH, EXACTLY, YEAH.
WE USED TO WEAR THEM BECAUSE
THEY DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING ELSE.

Bettany says NO.

The man says SO, WE USED TO BORROW THEM
FROM THE GRANDMAS.
SO, YEAH, WE GOT THE WHOLE
COSTUME.

Bettany says CHEERS, YAMAS!
HERE'S TO WINE AND PARTIES...
AND BLOOMERS.
(LAUGHING)

(music plays)

Bettany says DIONYSIAC PARTIES HAPPEN
ACROSS GREECE, AND ONE OF MY
REGULARS IS THE CARNIVAL IN
SKYROS.
(DRUMS BEATING)

Bettany says HERE, VILLAGERS DRESS UP IN
GOAT MASKS AND GOAT BELLS.
THERE'S PLENTY OF
CROSS-DRESSING, SOMETHING THAT
ACTUALLY FEATURES IN THE TALES
OF ODYSSEUS.
THERE'S A FASCINATING STORY
THAT LINKS THE TRADITION
OF CROSS-DRESSING WITH THE HERO
ACHILLES.
NOW, ACHILLES WAS A COMRADE OF
ODYSSEUS AND HE WAS RENOWNED TO
BE THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR, BUT
IN FACT, IN THE LEAD-UP TO THE
TROJAN WAR, ACHILLES TRIED TO
AVOID FIGHTING BY HIDING HIMSELF
DRESSED AS A WOMAN ON THE ISLAND
OF SKYROS.
NOW, ODYSSEUS, BEING SUPER
CLEVER, CONCEIVED A CUNNING PLAN
TO WHEEDLE HIM OUT.
HE TOOK A BEAUTIFUL SWORD TO
THE ISLAND, KNOWING THAT
ACHILLES WOULD NOT BE ABLE
TO RESIST, AND INDEED, AS HE
PRESENTED THE GIFT, ACHILLES
LEAPT UP AND GRABBED THE WEAPON,
BLOWING HIS OWN COVER, PROVING
THAT HE WAS A MAN.

(music plays)

Back on a boat, Bettany says IT'S TIME TO LEAVE NAXOS
AND CONTINUE MY ODYSSEY.
AND I'M MINDFUL THAT FOR
ODYSSEUS, THERE WAS NO SUCH
THING AS A STRAIGHTFORWARD
VOYAGE.
PRETTY EARLY ON IN ODYSSEUS'S
ADVENTURES, HE GETS CAUGHT UP
IN A TERRIBLE STORM AND IS BLOWN
OFF COURSE AND ENDS UP IN THE
LAND OF THE LOTUS EATERS, WHERE
THE LOCALS ARE VERY RELAXED AND
THEY SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME
TAKING A KIND OF MIND-ALTERING
SUBSTANCE THAT GROWS LOCALLY.
PERHAPS AS YOU CAN IMAGINE,
ODYSSEUS'S SAILORS LOVE IT HERE,
AND ODYSSEUS FINDS IT REALLY
HARD TO GET THEM TO LEAVE.
AND EVENTUALLY, HE HAS TO
ACTUALLY STRAP THEIR ARMS
TO THE OARS.
HE HAS TO FORCE THEM TO ROW
AWAY.
NOW THERE'S A LOT OF DEBATE AS
TO EXACTLY WHERE THE LAND OF THE
LOTUS EATERS IS, BUT I'M PRETTY
SURE THAT THE LOTUS THAT THEY
ARE TALKING ABOUT IS THIS.
NOW, THIS IS BLUE LOTUS OIL THAT
I BROUGHT FROM EGYPT, AND IT WAS
PRODUCED AT THE TIME OF
ODYSSEUS, AND RECENT SCIENTIFIC
EVIDENCE TELLS US THAT IT DOES
HAVE PSYCHOACTIVE PROPERTIES.
SO, IT'S ONE OF THOSE WONDERFUL
MOMENTS WHERE IT'S A STORY
GIVING US HISTORY BY ACCIDENT.
MY JOURNEY ACROSS THE AEGEAN
SEA HAS BROUGHT ME TO ONE
OF THE WEALTHIEST ISLANDS
IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, SIPHNOS.
AND WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT IS
THERE'S HARD HISTORY HERE
TO BACK UP SOME OF ODYSSEUS'S
STORIES.
SO, THIS ISLAND IS REALLY RICH
IN NATURAL RESOURCES.
IT'S GOT GOLD AND SILVER AND
LEAD, AND ALL OF THAT WAS MINED
IN THE ANCIENT WORLD.
SO, YOU CAN JUST BEGIN TO SEE
THESE KIND OF LITTLE HOLES IN
THE ROCKS, WHICH IS WHERE THE
MINES ONCE WERE.
BECAUSE OF THAT, IT GOT A
REPUTATION AS BEING AN ISLAND
THAT WAS FILTHY RICH, BECAUSE
SIPHNOS WAS ONE OF THE VERY
FIRST PLACES IN THE ANCIENT
WORLD TO MINT COINS, SO IT'S A
PIONEERING ISLAND.

(music plays)

Bettany says SIPHNOS REALLY WAS A TREASURE
ISLAND.
ITS OLD CAPITAL, KASTRO,
BUILT LIKE A FORTRESS, MEANS
"CASTLE" IN GREEK.
LOCAL HISTORIAN CRISTINA IS
SHOWING ME ITS SECRETS.

Christina says WELCOME TO OUR ISLAND.

Christina is in her forties, with mid-length straight brown hair in a ponytail and wears jeans, a printed blue blouse and sunglasses over her head.

Bettany says AHH, THANK YOU.
SO, HOW MANY GATES LIKE THIS
LEAD INTO THE CITY?

Chirstina says "There are five entrances."

Bettany says UH-HUH?

Christina says "There was an iron gate inside locked at night and there was always a guard checking who was entering the buildings."

Bettany says WOW.

Christina says "They were very frightening years, tough years for people, especially with the pirate invasions."

Bettany says YES!
WELL, I SUPPOSE IT'S GOT A
REPUTATION FOR BEING SUCH
A WEALTHY PLACE THIS, THAT THEY
KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE WORTH
ATTACKING.

Christina says "Because of the gold and silver of the mines they were very wealthy so all the pirates, or enemies wanted to come here."

Bettany sees a dog and says HELLO, DARLING!
(CRISTINA LAUGHING)
HELLO.
(DOG BARKING)
YES, YOU'RE A VERY GOOD
GUARD DOG, YES, HELLO.
HELLO.

Christina says "So they had to live very close to each other, small houses, small balconies, narrow streets. It was a better way to attack the enemies."

Bettany says YES, YES, YES.
HOW MANY FAMILIES LIVE HERE
NOW, THEN?

Christina says "Almost 30 families in the winter but in summer everybody comes in."

Bettany says YEAH.
I BET THEY DO, YEAH.
AMAZING, YEAH, AMAZING.
BEAUTIFUL.

Christina says "You see many antiquities in the streets of Kastro, many antiquities have been incorporated in the modern houses. So it's an open air museum."

Bettany says YES.
IT IS AN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM, YEAH.

(music plays)

Bettany says THERE'S BEEN A SETTLEMENT
HERE SINCE AT LEAST THE 18TH
CENTURY B.C.
FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS, THESE
CITY WALLS HAVE KEPT THE
INHABITANTS AND THEIR RICHES
SAFE.
EVEN UP TO THE PRESENT DAY,
THERE ARE TINY TREASURES TO BE
FOUND HERE IN KASTRO.

She walks in a museum and says IS IT-- CAN I-- CAN I HAVE A
LOOK INSIDE?

A woman opens a showcase and says YES, OF COURSE.

Bettany says OH, THANK YOU.
GOSH, THAT'S A TREAT.
LOOK AT THIS, LOOK AT THIS!
SO, THESE ARE BEAUTIFUL GOLD
COINS FROM BYZANTIUM.
THEY WERE CALLED THE SOLIDUS,
WHICH IS A KIND OF VERY FAMOUS
COIN.
ACTUALLY, SOLDIERS WERE PAID
IN THEM WHICH IS WHERE WE GET
THE WORD "SOLDIER" FROM.
THAT IS JUST LOVELY.
AND OVER HERE...
SO, THIS IS ONE OF THE LOVELY
SILVER COINS MINTED IN
CLASSICAL TIMES, SO THIS IS
ONLY 2,500 YEARS OLD.
HOW BRILLIANT AND THEY'RE
STILL KEPT SAFE HERE, ISN'T
THAT FANTASTIC?
THEY'VE BEEN HERE FOR ALL THOSE
CENTURIES AND THEY'RE STILL SAFE
RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TOWN.
AH, IT'S GREAT, THANK YOU.
THANK YOU SO MUCH, EFCHARISTÓ.

The woman says YOU'RE WELCOME.

Bettany says THANK YOU.

(music plays)

Bettany says THE COVES OF THE AEGEAN ISLANDS
WERE INFAMOUS PIRATE HIDEOUTS.
MARAUDING MARINERS EVEN DARED
CAPTURE THE MIGHTY ROMAN
LEADER, JULIUS CAESAR.
IN FACT, THE WORD "PIRATE."
ACTUALLY COMES FROM THE ANCIENT
GREEK "PIRATAS," WHICH MEANS
SOMEONE WHO ATTEMPTS TO MAKE A
ROBBERY.
PIRACY ALSO TURNS UP IN
THE
ODYSSEY,
TOO, SO WE HEAR THAT
WHEN ODYSSEUS LANDS ON
PARTICULAR ISLANDS, IN ORDER TO
PROVE THAT HE'S NOT A PIRATE,
HE WILL GO WITH ONLY A FEW
PEOPLE AND UNARMED, BUT THERE IS
THIS BRILLIANT PASSAGE WHEN WE
ACTUALLY FIND OUT THAT ODYSSEUS
HIMSELF IS A PIRATE, BECAUSE HE
LANDS ON AN ISLAND, HE SACKS
THE CITY, HE RAPES THE WOMEN,
HE PLUNDERS THE TREASURE, AND
THEN, DIVIDES IT UP BETWEEN HIS
MEN.
SO, AT THAT POINT, HE ISN'T
A HERO, HE IS A VILLAIN.
SCATTERED ACROSS SIPHNOS ARE
ANTI-PIRATE WATCHTOWERS.
THERE ARE 77 IN TOTAL RIGHT
THE WAY ACROSS THE ISLAND.
THIS IS ONE OF THEM, WHICH IS
2,400 YEARS OLD.
WHAT THEY DO IS THEY WOULD
SIGNAL TO ONE ANOTHER, AND THEY
DID THAT BY USING A KIND OF
EARLY FORM OF MIRROR OF POLISHED
METAL OR SMOKE SIGNALS WHICH
HELPED TO KEEP THEIR GOLD AND
SILVER AND THEMSELVES SAFE.
TOWERS LIKE THIS ONCE FORMED A
COMMUNICATION NETWORK ACROSS
THE AEGEAN, AS FAR BACK AS
THE BRONZE AGE, AND THEY RELATE
DIRECTLY TO ODYSSEUS'S STORY.
SO, WE'RE TOLD THAT AT THE END
OF THE TROJAN WAR WHEN THE
GREEKS WON, BEACONS WERE LIT ALL
THE WAY FROM TROY THROUGH GREECE
TO THE GREEK MAINLAND, AND
ARCHAEOLOGISTS HAVE WORKED OUT
THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE.
YOU COULD HAVE HAD THIS KIND OF
LINE OF FIRE FROM TURKEY RIGHT
THE WAY THROUGH GREECE.
SO, THESE BEACONS REALLY
HERALDED THE BEGINNING OF
THE ORIGINAL ODYSSEY.
IN FACT, THIS WHOLE ISLAND IS A
TREASURE TROVE, WHERE CLUES
IN THE LEGENDS OF ODYSSEUS ARE
BACKED UP BY HARD, HISTORICAL
FACT, ESPECIALLY AT THE
BEAUTIFUL BRONZE AGE
SETTLEMENT OF AGIOS ANDREAS,
THE KIND OF PLACE WE'RE
TOLD ODYSSEUS AND OTHER
WARRIOR-KING HEROES RULED OVER.
WHEN YOU MAKE IT UP INTO THE
CLOUDS HERE, YOU FIND A WHOLE
FORTIFIED CITY THAT DATES BACK
3,500 YEARS.
IT'S MYCENAEAN.
THE MYCENAEANS WERE AN ANCIENT
SUPERPOWER, WHO DOMINATED THE
AEGEAN WHEN THE EGYPTIANS WERE
AT THEIR HEIGHT.
MYCENAEAN WEAPONS, CLOTHES,
CUSTOMS ALL FEATURE IN THE
STORIES OF ODYSSEUS.
THE MYCENAEANS, WHO START OFF
IN MAINLAND GREECE, WERE
WELL-ORGANIZED AND VERY
AMBITIOUS.
THEY STARTED TO TAKE OVER
TERRITORIES RIGHT ACROSS
THE AEGEAN ON ISLANDS LIKE THIS,
FILLING THEIR SITES WITH
IMPRESSIVE TECHNOLOGY.
THIS IS A CISTERN THAT WAS BUILT
TO COLLECT RAINWATER THAT WAS
THEN DELIVERED DOWN TO THE TOWN
IN THIS COMPLICATED,
SOPHISTICATED SYSTEM.
IT'S BRILLIANT, ISN'T IT, WHEN
YOU THINK ABOUT IT BECAUSE ALL
OF THIS IS HAPPENING WELL OVER
1,000 YEARS BEFORE THE ROMANS
START TO DO THEIR THING WITH
AQUEDUCTS AND WATER SUPPLIES.
SO, IN SOME WAYS, WHAT YOU'RE
LOOKING AT HERE IS THE BEGINNING
OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT.

She now walks in a museum and says THIS RICH CITADEL WOULD HAVE
ENJOYED MASSIVE, COMMUNAL
FEASTS JUST LIKE THE ONES WE
HEAR ABOUT IN
THE ODYSSEY.
I LOVE THE FINDS HERE BECAUSE
YOU GET A REAL SENSE OF HOW THE
PEOPLE HERE DIDN'T JUST SURVIVE
BUT TRIED TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE.
SO, WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING AT IS A
GIANT EARTHENWARE STORAGE JAR.
IT'S CALLED A PITHOS, AND WE
KNOW THAT IN HERE THERE WOULD
HAVE BEEN GRAIN AND FIGS, AND
QUITE OFTEN THESE THINGS WERE
BURIED IN THE EARTH.
SO, BASICALLY THEY ACTED LIKE
A KIND OF PREHISTORIC FRIDGE,
AND WHAT'S PARTICULARLY NICE
ABOUT THIS ONE IS THEY DIDN'T
JUST BANG IT OUT, BUT THEY
DECORATED IT.
SO, ALL AROUND THE SURFACE,
YOU'VE GOT THIS DESIGN OF A ROPE
SO IT LOOKS LIKE THERE ARE ROPES
RUNNING AROUND THE EDGE.
I'M REALLY, REALLY VERY LUCKY
TO BE ALLOWED TO HOLD THESE.

She holds a carved metal token and says SO, THESE ARE FINDS FROM THE
SITE.
THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL DECORATION
FOR A PIECE OF CLOTHING, AND IT
IS SILVER GILDED WHICH WAS
SOMETHING THE SIPHNIANS DID A
LOT BECAUSE THEY HAD ACCESS TO
ALL THIS AMAZING SILVER AND
GOLD.
IT'S ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFULLY
DESIGNED, AND IT WOULD HAVE
BEEN USED PROBABLY TO DECORATE
A WOMAN'S HEADDRESS OR HER
CLOTHES.
AND I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN SEE
JUST HOW FINE IT IS, SO IT'S
A TRULY, TRULY BEAUTIFUL THING.
SO, THAT IS ONE TREAT.
THIS IS POSSIBLY EVEN MORE
SPECIAL.
SO, THIS IS CLOSE ON 3,500 YEARS
OLD AND IT'S A STONE HEAD
CARVED INTO THE SHAPE OF AN
OPIUM POPPY.
NOW, THIS TELLS US THAT BACK IN
THE BRONZE AGE THEY WOULD HAVE
BEEN USING OPIUM DRUGS, OPIATES,
BASICALLY TO GET HIGH.
AND, I WONDER IF THIS EXPLAINS
ALL THOSE AMAZING MYTHS AND
LEGENDS.
SO, IF THEY DRANK OPIATES, IF
THEY SMOKED THEM, IF THEY DRANK
LIQUID OPIATES IN THE FORM
OF LAUDANUM, THEN YOU CAN JUST
IMAGINE THEY WERE TRIPPING,
BASICALLY.
SO, THEY WOULD HAVE HAD THESE
DREAMS OF GODS AND SPIRITS
AND MONSTERS.
SO, IN MANY WAYS, THIS LITTLE
TINY THING, I THINK, IS THE KEY
TO UNDERSTANDING THE MYTHS AND
LEGENDS OF THE ANCIENT GREEKS.
LIKE ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS,
THE STORY OF PERSEUS, WHO AS
A YOUNG BOY FALLS FOUL OF HIS
GRANDFATHER AND, ALONG WITH HIS
MOM, ENDS UP CAST ADRIFT IN
A WOODEN BOX OFF THESE SHORES.
THEY ARRIVE ON THESE WATERS AND
ARE THEN RESCUED BY FISHERMAN
AND BROUGHT ASHORE.
BUT IT'S AN INTERESTING START
TO LIFE, AND PERSEUS CONSTANTLY
HAS CHALLENGES.
HE HAS TO FIND AND KILL THE
MONSTER MEDUSA, THAT GODDESS
WITH SNAKE FOR HAIR, AND THEN,
HE HAD TO RESCUE A NAKED
PRINCESS FROM A ROCK.
THE ETHIOPIAN ANDROMEDA, A CLUE
THAT THE GREEKS HAD STRONG
RELATIONS WITH AFRICA AND
THE EAST.
AND THEN, HE HAS TO GO ON AND
FOUND ONE OF THE GREATEST
EMPIRES IN THE WHOLE OF GREECE.
THE MIGHTY MYCENAEAN EMPIRE.
MEDUSA IS THE ULTIMATE
MAN-EATER, WHOSE PETRIFYING
STARE TURNS MEN TO STONE.
THE ONLY WAY THAT PERSEUS CAN
KILL HER IS BY FACING DOWN
HIS FEAR.
AND THE MORAL OF THAT TALE IS
THAT THE GREATEST ENEMY OF HUMAN
HAPPINESS IS NOT FEAR, BUT FEAR
OF FEAR ITSELF.

(BELL RINGING)

Bettany says JUST BEFORE I LEAVE TO CONTINUE
MY ODYSSEY, THE LOCALS ARE
SENDING ME OFF SIPHNIAN-STYLE.
HI!
A TRADITIONAL DANCE, PROOF
THAT HISTORY STILL LIVES ON
IN THE MODERN WORLD.

Christina says "The children begin from the age of four or five to nineteen years old."

Bettany says FANTASTIC.

Christina says "They dance very much in Siphnos."

Bettany says WELL, THEY JUST LOOK LIKE
THEY'RE HAVING SUCH A GOOD TIME.

Christina says AH, YES, YES.

Bettany says I VERY MUCH APPROVE OF THE
FACT THEY START WITH A DRINK
OF WINE, AS WELL.

Christina says "Oh yes, that's right. The wine is doing a lot of work."

Bettany says YES.
(MUSIC PLAYING, CLAPPING)

Bettany says IT'S REALLY BEAUTIFUL
THAT THEY'RE DOING THIS.
I MEAN, THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY
LIVING THE HISTORY AND THE
TRADITION.

Christina says "Siphnos is a very traditional island."

Bettany says YES.
IT'S REALLY, REALLY SPECIAL.
THANK YOU FOR BRINGING ME HERE.

Christina says "Than you, you're welcome."

Bettany says AWW.

Christina says "You come every year."

Bettany says I WILL.
(CLAPPING)

(music plays)

Michael says THE MYTHS ARE ALL ABOUT
LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCES.
OUR HERO ODYSSEUS MEETS EPIC
CHALLENGES, BUT HE'S CHANGED BY
THEM, AND NOW IT'S TIME FOR ME
TO LEAVE SIPHNOS, THERE'LL
CERTAINLY BE MORE ADVENTURES
TO COME ON MY GREEK ODYSSEY.
ON THIS LEG OF THE JOURNEY, I'VE
REALLY FELT THE RAW POWER OF
NATURE, AND THAT'S SOMETHING
THAT THE ANCIENT GREEKS AND
THE ODYSSEY
TALK ABOUT A LOT.
WHETHER THAT'S US AS HUMANS
EXPLOITING THE EARTH OR BEING
AT ITS MERCY, SOMETHING YOU ARE
DEFINITELY AWARE OF OUT ON
THE OPEN SEA.

(music plays)

Bettany says NEXT TIME, I MEET CHARMING
MODERN-DAY INHABITANTS OF
CRETE.
(GOAT BLEATING)

She holds a goat and says OH!
AND COME FACE-TO-FACE WITH
A SAVAGE REALITY FROM THE AGE
OF HEROES-- HUMAN SACRIFICE.

A woman says MACABRE.

Bettany says VERY MACABRE.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Executive producer, David Upshal.

Series producer and director, Anne Thomson.

Copyright 2020, SandStone Global Productions Limited.

Logo: Drive.

Watch: Greek Island Odyssey with Bettany Hughes - episode 3