Frequent Slow Muse commenter and friend Elatia Harris has written yet another memorable piece on 3 Quarks Daily. Her topic this time: Saffron. And because she is both a writer and an artist, she has woven the history of this delicate spice with an image track of beautiful prehistoric paintings, a few sampled here.


Here’s a teaser:

Throughout the early 1970s the ruins of Akrotiri, a Bronze Age settlement on the Aegean island of Santorini, were dug out from under several hundred feet of volcanic ash, where they had been preserved from human intervention for 3600 years. One of the rooms that came to light was a large frescoed chamber showing an exquisite goddess and her saffron-gathering cultists. I had been wanting to write about the history of saffron, including its ritual aspect, and when I saw these paintings, I knew this was where I would begin. Before the Bible and the Vedas were written, before the building of Troy, before the objects in Tutankhamen’s tomb were dreamt of, there was heart-stopping painting on Santorini, found in houses of such sophistication that they were plumbed for hot and cold water. Also, there was saffron. And thereby hangs a tale…

Not to be missed.