Ships in the Sky: Mythistories of Seafaring in the Pindos Mountains

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Thessaly was once an ancient sea stretching from the Kalampaka pass where today stands the geological wonder of Meteora, to the Aegean coast beyond Larisa. Now, if one knows where to look, aquatic treasures may catch the eye – maritime fossils, prehistoric seabeds, and, reportedly, pieces of ancient ships peeking out through strata that capture millennia of human activity. Two-thousand metres high in the Pindos Mountains, three hours’ drive from the coast, the sea, and particularly ships, play an important role in oral histories and local historical consciousness. Myths abound of unearthed ships and their treasures, shaping the way that people talk about the history of the landscape and their ancestors; narratives that often contradict official regional historiography. Pieces of ships are not mere artefacts of curiosity but allow villagers to affectively re-tell the history of the region, explain peculiar local characteristics and carve a narrative of community based on maritime culture. This paper demonstrates how maritime cultures transcend the distinction between land and sea and how mythistories of seafaring may surface in the most unlikely locations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Culture of Ships and Maritime Narratives
EditorsChryssanthi Papadopoulou
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
ISBN (Electronic)9781315165684
ISBN (Print) 9781138055841
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Publication series

NameBritish School at Athens Series in Modern Greek & Byzantine Studies


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