Santorini volcano explosion dates changed: Piece of olive tree found on Thirasia changes everything

22 October 2018
228 Views

The dating of a piece of olive tree found on Thirasia will move the dating of the eruption of Santorini’s volcano a few decades later than current estimates, the Ministry of Culture and Sports said on Friday.

The wood was found in the area “Kimissi Thirassias”, the prehistoric settlement which lies on a hillside of the island once connected to Thira, or Santorini, at least up to the Middle Bronze Age, before the volcano exploded.

The settlement is on top of a hill on the southern side of Thirasia, and on the edge of the caldera that existed before the volcano explosion, that is variously dated from 1627 BC to 1600 BC. The wood belongs to the last stratigraphic phase before the explosion, the ministry said.

The University of Arizona at Tucson team that tested the wood show that “the wood dates absolutely to the early 16th century BC, therefore places the Minoan-era blast some decades after the date supported until now.”

In recent years, excavations had revealed a large elliptical-shaped building and smaller constructions “ingeniously built into the volcanic rock face,” the ministry’s statement said. Excavations this year focused in an area where research had shown possible architectural remains squeezed between layers of the explosion levels of the volcano.

“From the start of the excavation, lying in the ash and pumice layers were found very strong walls, built carefully and in straight lines, one of which was nearly seven meters long,” the ministry said.

The most important excavation area found so far goes down to a depth of two meters, to a platform running along the whole length of the south wall, raising new possibilities about the use of the space in the bronze age.

The large walls and numerous Middle Cycladic pottery found in undisturbed layers indicate a dating of about 2000 to 1700 BC and may incorporate earlier, Protocycladic strong constructions, the ministry said, adding that it is still early to figure out whether the walls were for defence or surrounded housing.

Dating was further clarified this year, bringing the ranges of dates of Thirasia on par with the corresponding Aegean Island communities, both on Santorini (the Akrotiri site), as well as Ios (Skarkos) and Keros (Daskalio).

The excavation is carried out by the Ionian and Cretan Universities, the Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities, an international research team, the city of Thera, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) and the General Secretariat for Aegean and Island Policy.

You may be interested

JOKER results: 18/07/2019
GREECE
shares14 views
GREECE
shares14 views

JOKER results: 18/07/2019

Panos - Jul 18, 2019

The winning numbers from the JOKER draw are as follows:

Greece: Recruitments to the health sector and the Police as a priority
POLITICS
shares17 views
POLITICS
shares17 views

Greece: Recruitments to the health sector and the Police as a priority

makis - Jul 18, 2019

A large meeting under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis took place Thursday evening in order to plan recruitments to the health…

Cyprus Energy Minister: Five exploratory drills over the next two years
FINANCE
shares25 views
FINANCE
shares25 views

Cyprus Energy Minister: Five exploratory drills over the next two years

Panos - Jul 18, 2019

Ankara’s goal is to cause instability in the Eastern Mediterranean and discourage energy giants, the Ministry says. Five exploratory and…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.