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Volunteers Clean Up Sea at Sacred Greek Island of Delos

Volunteers clean sea at Delos
Dozens of volunteers joined forces to clean up the sea area ad Delos Island. Credit: Facebook/All for Blue

Dozens of volunteers came together over the weekend in the Aegean island of Delos to clean the sea area of rubbish.

Members of the All for Blue non-profit organization recovered from the bottom of the sea more than a ton of plastic, metal, glass and other rubbish which were separated by type to be recycled.

All For Blue, founded in 2017 by Katerina Topouzoglou, has the mission of protecting the seas and oceans through education and experiential cleanup actions.

With its ocean conservation seminars, it aims to inform future generations about the balance of marine ecosystem, to provide ways to avoid single use plastics, and to tell the truth about what is really happening in the oceans.

With beach and underwater cleanups it aims to show to the participants how to organize a cleanup, act as a team and raise awareness.

In the clean-up operation at Delos a remote-controlled submarine was used, which is equipped with special headlights, has a range of five hours and can dive to a depth of 100 meters.

Delos the mythological birthplace of Apollo

Delos is a Greek island and archaeological site in the Aegean Sea’s Cyclades archipelago, near Mykonos. The mythological birthplace of Apollo, it was a major religious center and port during the 1st millennium B.C.

The island’s ruins encompass Doric temples, markets, an amphitheater, houses with mosaics and the iconic Terrace of the Lions statues. The Archaeological Museum displays statues excavated from the site.

Delos had a position as a holy sanctuary for a millennium before Olympian Greek mythology made it the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. From its Sacred Harbor, the horizon shows the three conical mounds that have identified landscapes sacred to a goddess in other sites: one, retaining its Pre-Greek name Mount Kynthos, is crowned with a sanctuary of Zeus.

The island was first settled in the third millennium BC. The Apollonian sanctuary, established at least since the 9th century BC, reached the peak of its glory during the Archaic and Classical period, when it acquired its Pan-Hellenic character.

After 167 BC, as a result of the declaration of Delos as a free port, all the commercial activity of the eastern Mediterranean was concentrated on the isle. Rich merchants, bankers and ship-owners from all over the world settled there, attracting many builders, artists and craftsmen, who built for them luxurious houses, richly decorated with frescoes and mosaic floors. The small island became soon the maximum emporium totius orbis terrarium (S. P. Festus, 2nd century AD) – the greatest commercial centre of the whole world.

The prosperity of the island and the friendly relations with the Romans were the main cause of its destruction. Delos was attacked and looted twice: in 88 BC by Mithridates, the King of Pontus, an enemy of the Romans, and later, in 69 BC, by the pirates of Athenodorus, an ally of Mithridates.

Since then, the island fell rapidly into decline and was gradually abandoned. Captured after its abandonment successively by the Byzantines, Slavs, Saracens, the Venetians, the Knights of St. John and the Ottomans, Delos was turned into a quarry site with its temple columns burnt for lime, and its houses left in ruins.

Related: The Island of Delos: Where Greek Mythology and History Come Alive

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