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Ancient helipad or landing target for aliens? You decide!

Episode 76: In which the architects of the Parthenon and Stonehenge bicker over a Minoan Stonehenge and Daedalus’ belief in airports.

This episode of Real Housewives of Hades (a Mt. Olympus spin-off) brought to you by the latest archaeological news on – and by CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology.

[SETTING: Underworld Club for Architects]

PHIDIAS, DESIGNER OF THE PARTHENON: Connacht, have you seen the mortal news? They’ve discovered another one of your designs, this time in Crete!

CONNACHT, DESIGNER OF STONEHENGE: Um, I’ve never been to Crete. I’m from Britain. It’s a different surprisingly influential rock in the European sea.

DAEDALUS, DESIGNER OF THE LABYRINTH: Phidias, maybe you’re thinking of me. I’m from Crete.

PHIDIAS: Please, Daedalus, this club is for historical architects only. Mythical buildings do not count towards membership.

DAEDALUS: Plenty of modern scholars think my Labyrinth was a real building!

PHIDIAS: One designed to hide a bull-headed flesh-eating monster? Frankly, I’m not sure that’s any better. If I had designed the Parthenon to house a talking hippopotamus who ate children, I wouldn’t presume to present myself as an architectural genius.


CONNACHT: Clearly whatever is going on with Crete and its architecture couldn’t have anything to do with me.

PHIDIAS: Maybe this new structure was simply inspired by Stonehenge. It’s a large circular building on top of a hill, dating to about 4,000 years ago.

CONNACHT: Um, once again, “circle” is not a proprietary architectural design. It’s actually pretty easy to lay out. You take a stick and a rope

PHIDIAS: Please stop explaining that to me. I was a highly skilled mathematician. I know how to draw a circle.

DAEDALUS: I know how to thread a spiral shell! That’s like a circle.

PHIDIAS: (rolling his eyes) This isn’t just another circular building. Like Stonehenge, the newly excavated building doesn’t have much evidence for being a dwelling, although it does have a lot of burnt animal bones in it. So modern mortals think it was a “ritual site,” because what else would be filled with animal bones?

Clearly evidence for an important ritual site.

CONNACHT: Again, a restaurant. That’s what Stonehenge was. I keep telling people that and no one believes me.

PHIDIAS: If you insist that not all circular buildings were inspired by Stonehenge, how do explain the lack of Minoan parallels for the Cretan building?

DAEDALUS: Did you just call the building stupid? Seems a bit harsh for an inanimate structure.


CONNACHT: Why are we just hearing about this supposed Stonehenge-wanna be? If it was really inspired by Stonehenge, it would be visible for miles.

PHIDIAS: It might have been at one time, but it was buried over the centuries. The mortals just discovered it while building something called an airport, although I’m not familiar with that term.

DAEDALUS: An airport is a place where mortals use machines to fly through the air. Who’s the cretin now?

PHIDIAS: Humans using machines to fly through the air? That’s obviously nonsense. I suppose this is another one of your fantastical buildings, Daedalus.

DAEDALUS: No, airports are real! So are airplanes!

PHIDIAS: I have no intention of taking advice about reality from someone who thought the only difference between birds and humans was a lack of feathers. Thankfully the mortals have decided to move the airport, whatever it is, to preserve the ancient building. So mortals should have plenty of time to discover the structure’s purpose.

CONNACHT: They’re going to need it…

This doesn’t bode well for our interpretation timeline.

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To learn more about Daedulus’ aeronautical adventures in Crete, and why he got stuck designing the worlds weirdest basement apartment, enroll in CLAS-C 205 Classical Mythology, coming up Summer II 2024 and Fall 2024, and earn GEC credits while you’re at it! Can’t get enough of Ancient Greece and Rome? Earn a Classics Minor in just 15 credits!