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Science Buzz Cafe # 462 Santorini: Volcanism and the Hellenic Arc of the Aegean
Joan Marler, Archaeomythologist
THE CATASTROPHIC EXPLOSION OF THE ENORMOUS VOLCANO ON THE ISLAND OF SANTORINI (THERA) AND ITS IMPACT ON THE AEGEAN WORLD OF THE LATE 17TH CENTURY BC.
The still-active volcano at the center of the Aegean island of Santorini – north of Crete – is one of the most violent caldera-volcanoes in the world. Its massive eruption, toward the end of the 17th century BC, utterly destroyed the vibrant Minoan society that flourished there, and profoundly impacted large swaths of the surrounding region. Continuous excavations of the sophisticated settlement of Akrotiri during the last 40 years have uncovered the Pompeii-like preservation of entire neighborhoods of multi-story houses with elegant wall-paintings, exquisite ceramics and evidence of a prosperous lifestyle based upon marine trade. This presentation presents the results of the most recent geological investigations that reveal a stunning picture of the unfolding catastrophe that destroyed and preserved one of the most remarkable cultures of the ancient world.
Joan Marler is the Founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Archaeomythology, an international organization promoting archaeomythological scholarship.