Time Travel – 40,000 BC!

It is a warm August afternoon. Everything rests under  the hot rays of the summer sun. Somewhere in Argolis0, I am looking for the alternative in the prehistory of this place. I walk on a rocky path, sprinkled with fine-grained sand, by the sea. Wherever I lay my eyes on, everything sizzles in heat and saltiness resisting the hot summer breath in stillness, patiently awaiting for the dusk.

The route, easy but adventurous. On my right sharp cliffs and green sea, on my left, rocks and prickly pears. Maneuvers are required to avoid falling or being scratched.

Following the path for about 100 meters, lies a sandy golden beach and at its far end, a hole, the entrance to the cave Franghthi. One of the most important prehistoric sites in Greece. It was probably first inhabited by Neanderthal man, during the Musteian period 40,000 years BC, but certainly by Homo sapiens in the period after 30,000 BC.

Shortbreathed, I approach the place, which, I know from my readings, gave refuge to the Man of ancient times, when the sea was 8 km away from its current location and large plains stretched in front of the entrance of the cave. Here, settlements prehistoric to Neolithic, flourished, hunting and collecting first, then cultivating, leaving their mark, from the remains of buildings, tools and figurines.

The cave, 150 meters deep and 30 meters wide at the entrance, has been excavated on an area of ​​700 sq.m. Who knows much information is waiting to be revealed, still buried in the rest of the part crushed by the roof! Despite the fact that this is a cave it’s a recognized archeological site, and the experience of entering a “chthonic” site with human habitation from prehistory, sharpened the neurons of my mind to experience a high-intensity experience. I saw buildings made of natural materials, with a house layout. With fireplace and rest rooms. I saw utensils, a household, shaped to serve the daily needs of people. I saw the remains of giant fish and animals but also obsidian from Milos, a suitable rock for the creation of hard tools and weapons! Does the finding of an obsidian in Frachthi, really confirm the sea communication between Ermioni and Milos in the Neolithic period? I wonder, how do we lose along the timeline critical information about the evolution of human civilization, which only the archaeological hoe can retrieve?

Climbing the huge rocks, which close the continuation of the cave, I rest my hands on them and close my eyes. I stay silent. Not even my breath can be heard. Some moments, wild pigeons fly from one cave to another. I try to feel what is below. Silence. I open my eyes and look for recesses, holes, lest and I light them in with my torch to get a glimpse of this past. Nothing. Where are the Cyclops of Tiryns to help me lift the boulders? Imagine, there could be still skeletons of other people (10,000 – 8,000 years old), friends and acquaintances  known to the 25-year-old who was found in a dig site a bit further with legs bent and arms at the chest in the position of the fetus ?

Approaching to the exit, I see again the sea where it used to be the living space of the community with pastures and crops. The arrival of the sea here, around 3,000 BC, probably marks the abandonment of the cave. The collapse of the roof can be another reason for this abandonment.

Wishing this cave to stay alive and with no further damage,  I surrender in the sea embrace, immersed in my thoughts and in the immense Blue.



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