THE CALDERA OF SANTORINI
Greece

 

Volcanic Caldera Turned Aegean Paradise

Click here for Episode 11

It's a picture perfect Greek island now, but around 1628 BCE, Santorini (also called Thera) was anything but a paradise to the Minoans who lived there.  The volcano beneath the island erupted, ejecting enough ash and rock to cover all of Portugal a foot deep, and wreaking havoc on the Bronze Age Aegean.  Its destruction and resulting chaos has led some to wonder whether Thera was the Atlantis mentioned by Plato.

Ryan Stitt of the History of Ancient Greece podcast appears to talk about visiting the amazing Minoan sites on nearby Crete.  Despite the long ago devastation, Santorini's resulting caldera has become a glorious spot to visit.  Margo Anton, and Seth Ruderman talk about how addictive it can be.

 

In this episode, we go to Santorini to learn about the eruption and its effects the Minoan civilization of Crete. Plus minotaurs, donkeys, Atlantis and Cretan cuisine, like dakos, a delicious bread salad!  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Friedrich, Walter L. Fire in the Sea: the Santorini Volcano: Natural History and the Legend of Atlantis

The Lonely Planet Guide to the Greek Islands

 

MacGillivray, J. A. Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth

Mellersh, H. E. L. The Destruction of Knossos: the Rise and Fall of Minoan Crete

 

Pyle, D. M. Volcanoes: Encounters Through the Ages

Photograph by Haitham Alfalah on wikicommons

 

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