Lake Ohrid’s Museum on Water

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Lake Ohrid, Europe’s oldest, is Macedonia’s #1 tourist draw.  The most likely international visitor to Lake Ohrid is not an American like me.  He is from The Netherlands.   As Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil increased travel to Savannah, Our Dutch Friend A. den Doolaard, a best seller by Ohrid author Misho Yuzmeski, created interest in Ohrid.   It’s about a Dutch writer, appeals to those who like Macedonian history, and is available in the town of Ohrid and probably in Amsterdam but not on Amazon.  Our Lake Ohrid guide Katrina, a fiery Macedonian, told us about this book with a bit of amazement as we approached one of the Lake’s biggest attractions–Museum on Water and Bay of the Bones.

Unique and truly amazing even if you’re not Dutch, the Museum on Water is actually a neolithic village built atop this lake. The original one was abandoned after The Bronze Age.  Some objects found in the lake are estimated to be 4,000-years-old.  By the Iron Age, this was already an old community.  Wooden piles and much more were found in the water and studied by a research team between 1997 and 2005.  Scientists learned that there were at least 24 prehistoric plaster and wood houses on a platform extended over Lake Ohrid.  Trapdoors gave access to the lake underneath the houses.  Baskets were lowered to catch fish that fed people and horses. The sophisticated ancient village had 21 rectangular homes and 3 round meeting buildings that reminded me of southwest U.S. kivas.  By 2010 the village was being reconstructed and a museum to display found artifacts was being built.

Scientists learned a lot about life in this village from what they found under the water. The women lived longer than the men, who usually died by the age of 30 probably from living above water, hard work, being around animals, and having multiple wives.  Children were roped to the houses by their feet.  Ceramic pottery and totems were found, so were bones and a lot of deer antlers.  Authorities figure that the antlers were used for religious purposes and speculate that storms might have caused villagers to believe that the area was cursed and that the antlers protected them.

Hank

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About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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