The Minoan Eruption
The geological event known as the Minoan Eruption happened around 1645 B.C and despite the contested nature of its exact date, it is known that its effects destroyed the Minoan civilization, wiping all life from the southern part of the Aegean Sea. Likewise, several side effects hit the Eastern Mediterranean, destroying crops and changing the geopolitics of the neighboring cultures. Therefore, parting from the Eruption in the Island of Thera and its alleged three stages, this essay tries to show a brief recount of the event, employing said data in series of digital media publications, incarnating a citizen of the Island during the event.
Keywords: Minoan, Thera, eruption, Aegean
Minoan civilization existed for at least 2,000 years in the Aegean sea. Since the long history of volcanic activities in the islands, it is possible that the settlers were aware of the risks of inhabiting Thera, the modern Santorini (Pyle 12). However, due to the Aegean Sea’s strategic situation as a trade knot connecting mainland Greece to Crete, the Minoans, a civilization focused on trade decided to settle them, using them as a trade knot that exchanged saffron and ceramics for raw materials from the rest of the Mediterranean. (Hilgemann and Kinder 33). Hence, given the nature of the activities of the inhabitants of the Aegean islands, an important culture blossomed from the benefits of trade, turning into the cradle of Western civilization due to the high impact it had in later Greek culture (Hood 23). After many debates, modern archeology and stratigraphy considered that the eruption took place in 1645 B.C. with a degree of certainty of more or less five years (Hammer et al. 2003)
Therefore, the Minoan eruption was not only a natural catastrophe but also an event that reshaped the geopolitics of the Mediterranean sea (Friedrich 46), destroying the Minoan civilization as well as harvests in the Eastern Mediterranean (Friedrich 37). According to Friedrich (40), the eruption had three stages. The first consisted of the eruption and the subsequent showers of pumice, an eruption of steam and volcanic rocks and a final flow of hot ash that covered all the Eastern Mediterranean (40).
Undoubtedly, this wiped the Minon civilization as the subsequent tsunamis destroyed a considerable part of Crete and the Minoan fleet, effectively severing the trade routes that kept the culture alive, at least for some generations until the arrival of the Mycenean culture.
Thera is a beautiful Island. I love watching the sails of the Cretan ships when they come to trade. The other day even an Egyptian ship came, it was incredible. (Hilgemann and Kinder 33)
My sister and I went to pick #Saffron from the fields today, Cretians pay well for it and bring us plenty things in exchange https://goo.gl/ZQYcHG (Hood 23).
1645 B.C. I was weaving with my mother and my dad told us he saw strange clouds in the sky and that the water was unusually hot. He was very nervous. (Hammer et al. 2003)
Check my new skirt, I weaved it on my own https://goo.gl/Mq8ZT5
My dad is more getting nervous; he told us that ancient histories say that the volcano in the Island could explode again, he wants us to go to Crete. I do not want to. (Pyle 1).
I think he is right, the sky is turning gray, and I am afraid too. I packed a few things, and I am ready to leave
Take a look at the ship I am in. We are sailing to Crete. http://goo.gl/ldvjbU
I am scared. The sky turned black, and I can see lava flowing from the mountain. Poor people, there is nothing left of Thera. I just hope we can get to Crete before we die too.
A pumice as big as my fist hit the ship. It was scalding, the air is thick and smells of Sulphur. I do not want to die. (Friedrich 37)
I think we will not reach Crete. My little brother has just suffocated, and the water is boiling. The heat is unbearable, and I can hardly see the sun. Gods help us.
My ship capsized. This will be my last tweet. My family is dead. I will never weave again. The water is too hot; I am scared. (Frieddrich 40)
Friedrich, W.L. “The Minoan Eruption of Santorini around 1613 B. C. and Its Consequences.” Aarhus Universitet, 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
Hammer, C. U., H. B. Clausen, W. L. Friedrich, and H. Tauber. “The Minoan Eruption of Santorini in Greece Dated to 1645 BC?” Nature 328 (1987): 517-19. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.
Hood, Sinclair. The Minoans: Crete in the Bronze Age. London: Thames and Hudson, 1971. Print.
Kinder, H., and W. Hilgemann. The Anchor Atlas of World History. New York Anchor, 1974. Print.
Pyle, D. M. “The Global Impact of the Minoan Eruption of Santorini, Greece.” Environmental Geology (1997): 59-61. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.