Thira Santorini, The Memory of an ancient ApocalypseAll rights reserved. Rights belong to their respective owners. Availablefree for non-commercial and personal use. First created 25 Apr 2012. Version 1.0 - 1 May 2012. Jerry Tse. London.
CliffsOn arrival to Santorini, the ferry entered through an entrance between the islands, before reaching the port.
CliffsThe harbour is surrounded on allsides by high cliffs.
The CalderaThe high cliffs and the islands form a circular lagoon, called the caldera. It is in fact a submerged volcanic crater .The islands are the crest of the crater. The size of the crater is huge (above).
The CalderaIn the middle of the caldera is the island of Nea Kameni, which was created by the eruption in c1650 BC.
The black sandy beach The black sandy beaches are made of volcanic ashes from the fallout.
Pumice RockPumice are stones that floats on water. They can be found all over the island. The volcanic rock traped a lots of air.Pumice rocks were in great demand as building material, during ancient times.
The white band of rock is thepumice layer. At places it is30m thick, deposited by theeruption in c1650 BC.
This is the 1926 eruption, sending out dense smoke from the crater in the Nea Kameni island.
Minoan CivilizationThe Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization. It is the earliest European civilization.
Minoan CivilizationThe Minoan civilization was based in the islandof Crete. It dominated the Aegean Sea fromaround 2600 to 1600 BC for a thousand years.It was a maritime power in the easternMediterranean. It was mentioned in ancientGreek book of Odyssey.It is very old. It is older than the rise of theHittie in Anatolia and the Mycenaean Greek, onthe mainland. It became a maritime powerduring the Old Kingdom in Egypt (see nextslide).Octopus pot. C1500 BC. Pottery. Minoan Crete. Found inthe Palace of Knossos. After the Thira eruption, manypottery depicted marine creatures as decorations.
This is the Minoan palace in Knossos. The palace was dated to 1900 BC and was abandoned around c1380–1100BC.
‘The Blue Ladies’ is a fresco at Knossos. It is dated to c1525–1450 BC. Here it is shown under incandescent light.
Ancient Thira (Santorini)The island acquired its name Santorini, when it was underVenetian rule between 1207 and 1580. The Greek refer it asThira or Thera, which is also the name of the largest town onthe island.Thira is the southernmost of a group of Greek islands knownas the Cyclades. It is the remnant of a volcanic eruption inc1650 BC. Together with the nearby islands, they form therim of a gigantic volcanic crater about 12 by 7 km across.The cliffs surrounded the caldera is some 300m high.The ancient eruption is one of the largest volcanic eruptionsin the recorded history. It created a gigantic tsunami, whichdestroyed much of the Minoan Crete some 110km away. Theeruption marked the decline of the Minoan civilization fromwhich it never recovered.Much of our knowledge about the Minoan Thira came fromthe excavation on Thira, at a place called Akrotiri.It is generally accepted by archaeologists that the Thiraeruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.Female Daedalic Figurine. Not dated. Santorini ArchaeologicalMuseum of Thera. She is a mourning figure, indicated by theposition of her hands. Found in the cemetery of Ancient Theradated c 600 BC
The location of ThiraThira was a major trading hub in the Minoan times, with easy access to Greek world around the Aegean Sea, at atime when moving goods on water was much easier than on land.
Ancient ThiraOn a fresco excavated at Akrotiri (above), it clearly showedthat the ancient city on Thira was surrounded by water. Theeruption destroyed the ancient elegant city with its multi-stories houses. Geologist reconstructed the island before theeruption (left), showing an ideal natural harbour for tradingships.Note the different kinds of ships were used on the fresco.
AkrotiriThis is the excavation at Akrotiri. It was started in 1967 by Professor Marinatos. No skeleton had ever been found atthe site. Archaeologists think that the population must have left by ships to other places.