Today, more than ever before in the history of mankind we are in urgent need of redefining humanity’s narrative.
We, humans have to stand together “to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known”.
The aim of ALPHA MISSION – ΔELOS is to raise awareness around the climate crisis and assist in the creation of a life affirming civilisation
Space & Delos
NASA’s ARTEMIS MISSION will take the first woman to the Moon by 2025, following APOLLO MISSION which took the first man to the moon in 1969.
Delos is the island where, according to the myth, the twin gods Apollo and Artemis were born, where light was born. For many centuries in antiquity, Delos was the cosmopolitan centre of the Mediterranean. Today the whole island is an open museum and the ancient ruins on it are already affected by the climate crisis and rising sea level.
Parallel to our quest to explore space, Delos can be an emblematic reminder that wings also need roots and that the healing of our planet needs to be a priority.
NASA’s Artemis Mission, following the Apollo Mission, gives us the unique opportunity to understand that Humanity will not succeed in addressing the challenges we are faced with, unless we combine the wisdom of the past with the knowledge and possibilities of today, humanities with science, mythology, art and spirituality with space and technology.
Delos, every May and June, but also all year round in other locations around our planet will become a third space for humanity, both physical and virtual. In collaboration with space research centres around the world and leading innovative arts institutions, ALPHA MISSION – ΔELOS will bring together ground breaking scientists, artists and thinkers of different nationalities and ages.
Their aim being to create interdisciplinary projects that combine art with technology. A space where, in the age of Artificial Intelligence, we will always be reminded of the wisdom of the first AI, Ancestral Intelligence. Events, dialogues, gatherings that will combine Mythology, Art and Technology for the Regeneration of our planet are also going to run parallel to Artemis mission to the moon being broadcast and live stream.
B. Delos Regen
Besides being a sacred and cosmopolitan urban centre, Delos was a model for the way it used its finite natural resources, adapting ideally to the ecosystem of the Cycladic Archipelago. Preserving a safe and sustainable environment in space and building sustainable elements on and around the Moon is a priority for the Artemis programme. Accordingly in Delos a holistic model of regeneration will be applied through a systematic regeneration of the flora and fauna of the island.
C. Delos and Latest Technologies
Through the use of the latest Technologies and an application specifically designed for ALPHA MISSION -ΔELOS visitors will have the unique opportunity to travel in time and experience Delos in different periods of history, interact with the space, the ancient monuments and other visitors.
In addition both visitors on the island and virtual visitors will have the opportunity to become part of the Delos Community and young visitors of the ALPHA GENERATION, a wider global community that inspired from the amazing mythological and historical strength of the island, will become ambassadors of the message of ALPHA MISSION – ΔELOS.
Delos – a Utopia that existed
O heaven-built island,
beloved bloom of
the children of shining-
daughter of the sea
unmoved wonder of the wide
whom mortals call Delos,
but whom the blessed gods
on Olympus call
the far-shining star
of the dark blue earth…
Pindar (5th century B.C.)
Delos must always raise some astonishment when one compares its size to its history. Although a small, rocky island, no more than 5 Km long and 1.300 m. wide, for ancient Greeks it was the most sacred place, as it was the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, two of the most important deities of the Greek pantheon. It is situated in the heart of the Aegean, in the centre of the Cyclades that form a dance circle around it; “hearth of the islands” Callimachus (3rd cent. BC) calls it, i.e. shrine and centre of the islands.
The ships, arriving continuously at the harbours of Delos, carried not only merchandise but also people, news and ideas from almost every Mediterranean city. The whole world seemed like a small neighbourhood ringing the sea that brought them together and brings us together. The Mediterranean Sea, where the mystic East and the active, progressive, West encounter the Greece of reason, balance and harmony, the place where reason and sentiment coexist harmonically and an exuberant love of life is balanced with a tempered submission to destiny.
It is estimated that, circa 90 B.C., about 30,000 people lived on this small island, which is no more than a dot on the map of the Mediterranean. The names inscribed on the tombstones in the ancient cemetery provide us with evidence that during the 2nd c. B.C., apart from the island’s majority of Athenian and Roman residents, Delos was populated by folk from most Mediterranean cities: from the Peloponnese and Italy, from mainland regions, the Black Sea and Asia Minor, from the Aegean Islands, Cyprus, Crete, and faraway places including Troas, Mysia, Aiolis, Ionia, Lydia, Caria, Lycia, Bithynia, Paflagonia, Pontus, Cappadocia, Pisidia, Pamphilia, Cilicia, Syria, Media, Phoenicia, Palestine, Libya, Arabia and Egypt.
At this time, all these people, in spite of their varied nationalities and different historical and cultural backgrounds, managed to forge a peaceable society. They communicated with each other in spoken and written Greek, the inter-national language of the period, adopted the Greek lifestyle, lived in Greek-style houses and built Greek temples, where they freely worshiped the gods of their homelands. The islanders worked companionably and enjoyed community life, while their children played together, studied at same Gymnasium, and trained in the same Palaestrae.
Greeks, the antithesis of the zealous followers of monotheistic religions, were always willing to accept that their neighbour’s god was indeed a god, often one of their own gods with a different name. Apollo, although a little hesitant at first, soon did not object sharing his island birthplace with Sarapis, Isis, Harpocrates and Anubis, or the God of Israel, the Gods of the Arabs, Atargatis and Adad, the Gods of the Phoenicians and the Roman Gods. So, perhaps for the first time in human history, in this small corner of the earth almost all the Mediterranean peoples co-existed in harmony.
The earlier inhabitants of Delos build (ca 2.500 BC) their simple dwellings on the top of the low hill Kynthos, where from they could easily inspect the sea around the island for coming enemies. The Mycenaeans, who came later on (end of 15th cent. BC), felt confident enough to settle in the small valley by the sea.
The Apollonian sanctuary, established at least since the 9th cent. BC, reached the peak of its glory during the archaic (7th-6th cent. BC) and classical (5th-4th cent. BC) period, when Hellenes from all over the Greek world gathered there to worship Apollo, the god of light, harmony and balance, and Artemis, the moon-goddess, his twin sister.
By the end of the 5th cent. BC there were already some houses and farms around the sanctuary. The town seen today developed rapidly after 167 BC, when, as a result of the declaration of Delos as a free port, all the commercial activity of the eastern Mediterranean was congregated on the isle. Rich merchants, bankers, and ship-owners from all over the world settled there, attracting many builders, artists and craftsmen who build for them luxurious houses, richly decorated with statues, frescoes and mosaic floors. The small island became soon the maximum emporium totius orbis terrarum – the greatest commercial centre of the world.
It is estimated that at the beginning of the 1st century BC, some 30.000 people were living on this little island that is no more than a dot on the map of the Mediterranean, and that it is likely that 750,000 tons of merchandise could be moved through its ports in a year.
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 was gradually abandoned and fell rapidly into decline.
The excavations, that started in 1872 and are still in progress, have unearthed the Sanctuary and a good part of the cosmopolitan Hellenistic town.
Info by P.I. Chatzidakis, archaeologist