A Test of Time: The Volcano of Thera and the Chronology and History of the Aegean and East Mediterranean in the Mid Second Millennium BC
The great mid-second millennium BC eruption of the Thera (Santorini) volcano in the Aegean Sea, has been the subject of intense popular and scholarly interest. The effects of the eruption have been linked with the destruction of the Minoan palace civilization of Crete, the legend of Atlantis and even the events described in the Biblical account of the Exodus. Scientists have studied the remains of the volcano, traced eruption products across the east Mediterranean, and sought evidence for a climatic impact in ice-cores and tree-rings. At Akrotiri, archaeologists have unearthed a major prehistoric town which was buried by the eruption, finding multi-storey houses decorated with wonderful frescoes, and full of ceramics and other finds linking this site with the contemporary civilisations of Crete, Greece, Anatolia, Cyprus, the Levant and Egypt.
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A brief history of the Thera debate
Aims and Preliminary issues for this Study
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17th century BC Aegean Aegean chronology Ahmose Akrotiri Alalakh Amenhotep Amenhotep III archaeological argued Astrom Avaris Beckerath Betancourt Bichrome Ware Bietak calibration curve ceramic Chapter contemporary context correlation Crete Cypriot Cyprus dataset debate dendrochronology destruction discussion earlier early 18th Dynasty early WSI east Mediterranean eastern Egypt Egyptian chronology Eriksson errors eruption of Thera example frescoes GISP2 Hattusili Hattusili III Hittite Hyksos ice-core important Keftiu king Knossos Kommos Kuniholm late Hyksos later 17th century later MBII LCIA LCIB LHIIA LMIA LMIA period LMIB LMII LMIIIA1 low chronology Merrillees mid-16th century BC Minoan eruption Niemeier noted Palace phase Popham possible pumice radiocarbon calibration radiocarbon evidence Ramesses range reign of Tuthmosis relevant Ryholt samples second millennium BC sherd style Syro-Palestinian Tell el-cAjjul Tell el-Dabca tephra Thera eruption tomb Toumba tou Skourou tree-ring Tuthmosis III volcanic eruption Warren and Hankey WSI bowl Zielinski and Germani