Thira - Santorini, The Memory of an ancient Apocalypse

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Santorini also known as Thira, is one of the most beautiful of all the Greek islands, with its spectacular cliffs and the beautiful caldera lagoon. It is also one of the most significant islands in ancient Greek history. The island was a trading hub of the Minoan Civilization, which was mainly based on Crete. The Powerpoint slideshow presentation provides some of the historical background for of this magical jewel floating on the deep blue Aegean Sea. You will never forget this place after your visit.

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First created 25 Apr 2012. Version 1.0 - 1 May 2012. Jerry Tse. London . Thira All rights reserved. Rights belong to their respective owners. Available free for non-commercial and personal use. Santorini, The Memory of an ancient Apocalypse

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Cliffs On arrival to Santorini, the ferry entered through an entrance between the islands, before reaching the port.

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Cliffs The harbour is surrounded on all sides by high cliffs.

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The Caldera The high cliffs and the islands form a circular lagoon, called the caldera. It is in fact a submerged volcanic crater . The islands are the crest of the crater. The size of the crater is huge (above).

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In the middle of the caldera is the island of Nea Kameni, which was created by the eruption in c1650 BC. The Caldera

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The black sandy beach The black sandy beaches are made of volcanic ashes from the fallout.

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Beaches of black sands. Beach

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Pumice Rock Pumice are stones that floats on water. They can be found all over the island. The volcanic rock traped a lots of air. Pumice rocks were in great demand as building material, during ancient times.

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The white band of rock is the pumice layer. At places it is 30m thick, deposited by the eruption in c1650 BC.

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This is the 1926 eruption, sending out dense smoke from the crater in the Nea Kameni island.

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Minoan Civilization The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age civilization. It is the earliest European civilization.

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Minoan Civilization The Minoan civilization was based in the island of Crete. It dominated the Aegean Sea from around 2600 to 1600 BC for a thousand years. It was a maritime power in the eastern Mediterranean. It was mentioned in ancient Greek book of Odyssey. It is very old. It is older than the rise of the Hittie in Anatolia and the Mycenaean Greek, on the mainland. It became a maritime power during the Old Kingdom in Egypt (see next slide). Octopus pot. C1500 BC. Pottery. Minoan Crete. Found in the Palace of Knossos. After the Thira eruption, many pottery depicted marine creatures as decorations.

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Classical Greece, 750 – 146 BC Thira ‘s Eruption c1600

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This is the Minoan palace in Knossos. The palace was dated to 1900 BC and was abandoned around c1380–1100 BC.

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‘The Blue Ladies’ is a fresco at Knossos. It is dated to c1525–1450 BC. Here it is shown under incandescent light.

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Ancient Thira ( Santorini ) The island acquired its name Santorini, when it was under Venetian rule between 1207 and 1580. The Greek refer it as Thira or Thera, which is also the name of the largest town on the island. Thira is the southernmost of a group of Greek islands known as the Cyclades. It is the remnant of a volcanic eruption in c1650 BC. Together with the nearby islands, they form the rim of a gigantic volcanic crater about 12 by 7 km across. The cliffs surrounded the caldera is some 300m high. The ancient eruption is one of the largest volcanic eruptions in the recorded history. It created a gigantic tsunami, which destroyed much of the Minoan Crete some 110km away. The eruption marked the decline of the Minoan civilization from which it never recovered. Much of our knowledge about the Minoan Thira came from the excavation on Thira, at a place called Akrotiri. It is generally accepted by archaeologists that the Thira eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis. Female Daedalic Figurine. Not dated. Santorini Archaeological Museum of Thera. She is a mourning figure, indicated by the position of her hands. Found in the cemetery of Ancient Thera dated c 600 BC

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Thira was a major trading hub in the Minoan times, with easy access to Greek world around the Aegean Sea, at a time when moving goods on water was much easier than on land. The location of Thira

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On a fresco excavated at Akrotiri (above), it clearly showed that the ancient city on Thira was surrounded by water. The eruption destroyed the ancient elegant city with its multi-stories houses. Geologist reconstructed the island before the eruption (left), showing an ideal natural harbour for trading ships. Note the different kinds of ships were used on the fresco. Ancient Thira

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Akrotiri This is the excavation at Akrotiri. It was started in 1967 by Professor Marinatos. No skeleton had ever been found at the site. Archaeologists think that the population must have left by ships to other places.

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Some 400 large pots were found. Akrotiri

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A large amount of lead weights were found. These suggest Thira was a trading hub in Minoan times. Akrotiri

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This ewer dated c 1600 BC excavated at Akrotiri is now in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Akrotiri

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Akrotiri is known for its well preserved frescoes. These are the images of the earliest European civilization, showing us the prosperity of the times. Akrotiri

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Akrotiri Fresco of antelopes, Akrotiri, Santorini.

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Fresco of from the House of Ladies. Akrotiri The Boxing Children.

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From the House of Ladies. Fisherman with his catch. ‘Priestess’.

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Santorini Today From Thera overlooking Nea Kameni

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The town of Thera perches on the rim of the volcano, overlooking the caldera. Santorini

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The chapel of Agios Nikolaos at the foot of a cliff of giant volcanic rocks. Santorini

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Sizable area of the island is cultivated. Santorini

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Unique to Santorini, grape vines are weaved into a basket to protect the growing grapes from the winds. Santorini

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Windmill situated on the rim of the hill, over looking the caldera, where the wind is always the strongest. Santorini

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Santorini

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One of the oldest church on the island, the church of Panagia Episkopi founded in 1100 AD, by the Byzantine Emperor Alexius. Santorini

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Terrace restaurant in the city of Thera. Santorini

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A street view of the city of Thera. Santorini

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Santorini A view of the city of Thera, overlooking the caldera.

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Santorini A street view of the city of Thera.

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Santorini known for its view of the setting sun. Santorini

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Santorini Day break.

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A street view of the city of Thera. Santorini

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Santorini

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All rights reserved. Rights belong to their respective owners. Available free for non-commercial and personal use. The End Music – Atlantis by The Shadows.