Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sunday, May 14th, Santorini, Greece


We walked down the hill from our hotel this morning to the point where our bus could pick us up to take us to Akrotiri.  You all remember Pompei, right?  Well, 1,700 years earlier (in 1,613 BC), the volcano in the center of the caldera defined in part by the island our hotel sits on (Santorini) blew up, sending two thirds of the land mass into the sky.  Thirty-six hundred years ago, a small city on the southern rim of Santorini was covered by the ash which fell from the 22-mile high plume.

In the early 1960s, an archeologist trying to prove his theory that the great Minoan civilization came to an end around 1,450 BC as a result of the same eruption, discovered in his digging in this area that an entire city had been covered up.  He labored alone until his death in 1974, never able to find enough evidence to sustain his theory.  His research did reveal a civilization which it seems far eclipsed those which followed it for a thousand years.

Evidence of pottery, architecture, city planning, art, housing, bronze tools, and one of the most prolific merchant sea-going forces in the world were found at Akrotiri.  Racked by earthquakes and eruptions that flattened everything frequently, the residents of this city were warned of the 1,613 BC eruption, and fled the area.  Nevertheless, what was left behind and found in the ash layers convincingly argues for the highest level of advanced civilizations present here.

At the end of the day, we took another Caldera walk through the northern town of Ioa.  Rivaling yesterday's walk, we are still awestruck by the beauty of this island.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on Sunday, May 14th, Akrotiri, Greece.

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