Drawing in Crete

Some sketches and snaps from said island.

It was quite overwhelming to stumble upon so many ancient ruins on such a small island. Crete is full of stories. And you can literally trip over them, as many sites are left completely open. There was a Minoan burial ground by the side of a dual carriage way, roman temples lying around in a farmers olive grove, and ancient Greek cities crumbled into the sea paths. This seems strange to me -one who has grown up in a theme-park-way-of-heritage, where the moment a monument is embedded with a letter of antiquity or historical value it is taped-off to the public and “museumafied”.

There were no museums, tourist-guards, postcard shops, or tape at the Minoan necropolis in Chania. We almost missed the site, because the road sign was so insignificant. The tombs were incredible, and probably the most awesome and inspiring of all the sites we visited. And, like I said, they were completely open. Some had tall enough doors to walk in, where you could step inside a dark and dank 3500 year old tomb (empty may I add). It blew my mind.

I couldn’t help feeling quite intrusive though. It is awe-inspiring to think that the remains of the Minoans rested in peace for over 3000 years. But, also it makes me feel very uneasy that the tombs were rudely awakened and gutted in the last 100 years. The tombs are no longer tombs, but empty holes in the earth. Here we have actually destroyed the thing we discovered in it’s discovery.

This reminds me of an essay I read at Uni, by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. He writes about a group of archaeologists that “discover” a lost tribe in the Amazon rainforest (who were completely isolated from the global community). When making contact with the tribe, the archaeologist also connects them to the global community. Thus un-isolating them, and abolishing the most valuable quality the archaeologist were searching for.

Who knows if any of this is good or bad. But I do wonder if the Minoans had thought their remains would be dug-up by men in white coats, and their tombs pranced about in by naive-English-tourists in their late 20s?

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4 thoughts on “Drawing in Crete”

  1. Can’t believe they didn’t tidy those ruins up a bit, what a mess! haha. Ignore me. Enjoyable mind dribbling Becca, the Minoan civilisation is totally fascinating. Love your drawings.

  2. Becca, we love your blog post about Crete and we love your artwork! Great sketches and thanks for sharing your process. We would love to include a link to your blog on ours which is all about Crete…how do we get in touch without spamming you??

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