The Late Bronze Age Eruption of Santorini Volcano and Its Impact on the Ancient Mediterranean World

The Late Bronze Age eruption of Santorini occurred 110 km north of Minoan Crete (Greece). Having discharged between 48 and 86 km3 of magma and rock debris, the eruption ranks as one of the largest of the last 10,000 years. On Santorini, it buried the affluent trading port of Akrotiri. Modern volcanological research has reconstructed the eruption and its regional impacts in detail, while fifty years of archaeological excavations have unraveled the events experienced by the inhabitants of Akrotiri during the months that led up to the eruption. Findings do not favour a direct relationship between the eruption and the decline of the Minoan civilization, although tsunamis and atmospheric effects may have weakened Cretan society through impacts on shipping, trade and agriculture.

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