Geia Sou from Crete! April is Anchors-Aweigh as People of the Sea: A Novel of The Promised Land sails out into the world. Wish it good fortune as the first full hearing of “those other peoples” (the advanced multicultural ones, centered in Nature) who were positioned—for too long, and against the facts—on the bad-guy side of your Old Testament and Bible. If you suspect it matters where we start the story of The West, you’re right!

This is the human story that spoke to me from 40 years of studying the stones. A journey never told that begins out of loss, anguished memory and the unconquerable Minoan will to live joyously again. A journey that leads through homeless dispossession and dark temptations to make violence shape the world, and finds indeed new life on a promise from a real historical pharaoh. All too soon, however, these families face another people’s promise from a god concerned only with them—but perhaps there were and are ways out of needless tragedy…

Take a trip through these 9 Photo Pages at the actual ancient worlds that unfold in these adventures. (We’re talking the whole eastern Mediterranean shifting from Bronze to Iron Ages, roughly 1400-1100 BCE in about 10 generations.) We’ll start here like the story with rugged and ravishing Crete, where “Sweet Wine” Deucalion (once Ariadne’s brother) lives among survivors haunted by the fall of their old Minoan way, hungry for a way out from under conquest, occupation and exile in their own land…

Hope you’ll come along, comment and even subscribe! (No salesman will call.) Places, peoples, achievements and adventures worth the knowing. May it tempt you to make the real journey of a lifetime!

Your Well-Wisher,

Jack Dempsey


1 eastern Med map

The eastern Mediterranean around and after 1400 BCE—a web of very different cultures connected (as the Greeks say) by the sea. Crete is seeing the end-times of its old independent civilization, and Deucalion’s rough survivors cling to a mountain stronghold called Karphi (Karfi)… 

2 eastern Minoan Crete
Sir Arthur Evans’ map of eastern Crete—Lasithi Plateau at center here is about 2 days’ walk from the ancient ceremonial center Knossos, and Karfi (“The Nail”) stands across the Plateau from majestic Mount Dikte, whose Cave gave birth to Minoan human beings. So began more than 2,000 years of fierce regional independence and cooperative cultivation…


3 Karphi from the northeast

4 Karphi, across Lasithi Plateau from Mt Dikte

This tower of shaggy stone is an always-cool or freezing place about 2000 feet above sea-level. While I take my share of chronological poetic license in the story—Karfi in fact became a “town” more than a century after Minoan Crete’s fall—its hive of houses and public spaces stood hidden behind the cliffs you see. In the photo below, including three strange figures of weathered stone I call “greeters,” you can see at left the tower’s southern side where people nestled their homes against north winds. Following that is the view north toward the sea and Dia Island, where Deucalion’s queen Ariadne lost her life…

5 Karphi & greeters

6 Dia fr Mikri Koprana, Karphi

8 Goddess fr Karphi with doubled-combined motifs, upraised arms & mountain-horns and disc crown

One form of the yet-surviving Minoan Goddess “with Upraised Arms” found on Karfi, a source of unlimited strength to the stronghold’s women young and old. With “sacred horns” signifying these people’s families/ancestors on Her head, and a disc or sun/moon or star between them, Her upraised hands create a doubling (or doubled pair) of points that speak to old Minoan astronomy—and their system for protecting themselves from tyrant-individuals and “kings.”

7 Katharos

This is another stunning “secret plateau” close by Lasithi, called Katharos: to get there, said a Cretan friend, “you will have an adventure” and he was right! Minoans who’d retreated from a violent occupation into very difficult country had many such places to raise their herds and crops, and keep their families alive…

9 Dikte

But, for “Sweet Wine” Deucalion and the sick-at-heart survivors with him, Mount Dikte and their ancestors speak of pride and full free lives to be recovered. And what will these voices from the underworld have to say about the only seeming way to go about it?


10 goat spy


(PS—I have no idea why the photo-caption-sizes keep changing. At some point you just have to kick the tech aside and try to communicate!!!!!!!)

PEOPLE OF THE SEA Final Front Cover



About Dr Jack Dempsey

Always good to hear from you! A life-long freelance writer/editor, Brown University Ph.D. (in Native & Early American Studies)---novelist ("Ariadne's Brother," "People of the Sea"), historian and biographer ("New English Canaan," "Thomas Morton," "Mystic Fiasco" and more), producer ("Nani: A Native New England Story"), Book Editor/Public Speaking Coach: Bentley University Adjunct Assistant Professor of English, Media Studies & Communications (Best Part Time Prof 2010). Latest works? Scientific nonfiction on the lunar/solar calendar of ancient Minoan Crete---"The Knossos Calendar: Minoan Cycles of the Sun, the Moon, the Soul & Political Power" (Iraklion, Mystis 2016), based on lectures drawn from "Calendar House: Clues to Minoan Time from Knossos Labyrinth" (2011). Come and enjoy multimedia resources including filmed Native American interviews at ANCIENTLIGHTS.ORG
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  1. Best of luck Jack, enjoy your writings.

  2. Ruth Kozak says:

    I really enjoyed seeing these photos after reading the first part of you rnovel. I can’t wait to revisit Crete and see them for myself. It’s great that you are using these sites in your story, even taking some poetic license, and it makes the story so more ‘real’ and I like that in novels. Gave me an idea for my new website for SHADOW to include a few on-site photos.

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