In October 2020, a ruptured muscle fibre in my left thigh left me recovering. According to the doctors swimming offered the best means of recuperation. I love to swim in the Walchensee, the lake close by my apartment, but it does get quite cold, even in summer. Where else might I go, to swim and do some light hiking so my muscle could heal up?
Greece sounded appealing. Not only was it close enough to avoid flying long-distance to Asia or America during the Covid days, but it also combined the promise of abundant natural beauty – spectacular mountains and delightful beaches – with a rich cultural heritage. I love to visit and study such places.
The following spring, I returned to Greece for six weeks, this time to the area of Kalamata, which is situated on the famous southern part of the Greek mainland, the Peloponnese. I started to explore the nearby Taygetos mountains, with their lush green valleys and ragged and barren peaks. I found this area so enjoyable that I returned in October and stayed for another six months, allowing me to immerse myself in the natural and cultural beauties of the region.
My explorations of Greece continued in spring and autumn 2023. This time, I was systematically searching for historical locations, further expanding my view on the evolution of human culture in Greece. The more I saw, the more I understood that the story that Greece has to tell is outstanding. 5000 years of human history have been preserved in countless ancient buildings, artefacts, written documents, and oral tradition – like nowhere else in the world. Scientists from around the world have done amazing work to reconstruct life as it was then. Today, the past can be seen, heard, and touched at many of the ancient sites. For me, the impressions from the single sites are added to each other to form a larger picture, growing slowly like a huge puzzle. The backbone of this larger picture is the timeline, which serves as an introduction and reference for the visited sites shown in the photo stories.
3100 – 1100 BCE
Only on Crete, Linear A script
Examples: The palace in Knossos
1750 – 1050 BCE
Around 1150 BCE
Environmental change, mass migration and destruction of cities.
Examples: Mycene, Pylos
An article from the World History Encyclopedia: The Bronze Age Collapse
1100 – 800 BCE
Widespread famine and depopulation, no large cities, no script, simple pottery. Not much archeological evidence.
800 – 490 BCE
Settlements in the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the Polis (Greek city state), Greek alphabet, Homer, refined pottery decoration. Establishment of the key states Athens, Corinth and Sparta in the 8th century.
Examples: Corinth, Olympia
490 – 323 BCE
323 – 146 BCE
Alexander the Great and the Diadochi, expansion of Greek culture, merging with Persian and Buddhist culture.
146 BCE – 324 CE
Romans rule over Greece, but adapt many components of the Greek culture. From around 50 CE onwards Christian missionaries start conversions in the Roman empire. In the 4th century CE Greek religion is systematically eradicated.
Examples: Ephesus, Messene, Eleusis, Corinth
324 – 1453 CE
Greece under the influence of the Byzantine emperors of Constantinople.
Examples: Lousios Gorge, Mystras, Ithomi, Meteora
480 - 700 CE
Migrations by various non-Christian invaders like Visigoths, Ostrogoths and Slavs, who conquered large parts of the Greek mainland.
1204 – 1797 CE
1453 – 1821 CE
Greece under the influence of the Ottoman empire. Many members of the orthodox church retreat into the mountains.
Example: Palamidi, Meteora
Independence since 1833