Thera Eruption Was Bigger Still – BBC News
The second largest volcanic eruption in human history was much larger than previously thought, scientists say.
The Bronze Age eruption of Thera near mainland Greece would have devastated ancient civilisations in the region.
Ash would likely have plunged much of the Mediterranean into darkness, and tsunami would have wrecked local ports.
A survey around what is now the island arc of Santorini shows volcanic pumice to a depth of 80m covering the ocean floor for 20-30km in all directions.
By examining echoes from volcanic deposits on the ocean floor, researchers have shown that the Aegean eruption of Thera 3,600 years ago may have propelled 60 cubic km of magma out of the volcano's crater.
Well I did tell you the story of Akrotiri was more fascinating than Pompeii!! The second largest eruption in history. In a way it’s sad to think that even though the population of Akrotiri managed to leave their town successfully, I doubt they actually survived, the eruption being as large as it was.
The eruption dwarfs even that of Krakatoa, which ejected about 25 cubic km of molten rock, ash and pumice in 1883, killing 40,000 inhabitants of Java and Sumatra in just a few hours.
Please go to the BBC article for the entire story of this HUGE eruption that buried Santorini and our site.
THE EXCAVATION AND AKROTIRI’S WONDERFUL FINDS
Around 40 buildings have been uncovered so far, however the town is believed to be as large as 20 Hectares, more of a city than a town (for the Bronze Age!). Six of the uncovered structures have been excavated extensively revealing amazing finds.
A plan of the site can be viewed HERE (It’s too large to post!)
Evidence of habitation at Akrotiri first came to light in the second half of the 19th century. However, systematic excavations were begun much later, in 1967, by Professor Spyridon Marinatos under the auspices of the Archaeological Society at Athens. He decided to excavate at Akrotiri in the hope of verifying an old theory of his, published in the 1930's, that the eruption of the Thera volcano was responsible for the collapse of the Minoan civilization. Since his death in 1974, the excavations have been continued under the direction of Professor Christos Doumas.
The six buildings uncovered to a greater extent are (please follow the link for a more in-depth description)::
Two-storey high buildings with 14 rooms on each floor where the wall paintings “Altar” and “Saffron Gatherers” were found.
possibly comprises two separate buildings, the one attached to the other. From the first floor of the western building, came the famous wall paintings of the Antelopes and the Boxing Children.
THE WEST HOUSE
The West House is a small, but well organized building. The rooms include storage rooms, a spacious room for weaving, a kitchen and mill, a room for storing clay pots, and a lavatory. The walls in the rooms were decorated with well preserved murals.
Complex Delta includes four houses. A room of the eastern building is decorated with the Spring fresco: the artist represented with special sensitivity a rocky landscape, planted with blossoming lilies, between which swallows fly in a variety of positions.
THE HOUSE OF THE LADIES
House of the Ladies. The large, two-storied building was named after the fresco with the Ladies and the Papyruses, which decorated the interior. The most interesting architectural feature of the building is a light-well constructed at its centre.
Last but not least:
It is a magnificent three-storied building, the largest excavated up to now. All its facades are revetted with rectangular ashlar blocks of tuff. The fragments of frescoes that have so far come to light belong to a composition which adorned the walls on either side of the staircase at the entrance of the building, depicting life-size male figures ascending the steps in procession. It was in all probability a public building, judging from its unusually large dimensions, the impressive exterior and the decoration of the walls.
Here are some further images of the dig and buildings.
I’ve found a cool interactive QTVR panorama image.
It requires Quick Time but is a great way to view part of the site: