A village was discovered on the Turkish coastdestroyed 3600 years ago by the eruption of the Santorini volcano. Scientists immediately called it “time capsule”. It contains information about the disaster, which apparently changed the course of history. In the ruined village, for the first time, it was possible to find the remains of people who died from this natural disaster. In addition, scientists have found evidence that the volcanic eruption was followed by a tsunami. The emergence of the latter is not surprising, since the eruption was the most destructive in the history of mankind. According to some scientists, its destructive power is comparable to a thousand bombs dropped on Hiroshima. Many scholars believe that these events of the Bronze Age, that is, that occurred around 1600 BC, are reflected in Plato's account of the sunken city of Atlantis.
Akrotiri city - the most famous victim of the Tera volcano
The volcano Santorini was called Tera at that time.It was a volcanic island located in the Aegean Sea. One of the largest cities affected by the eruption of Tera is Akrotiri. It is a Minoan city buried in ashes and is now a popular tourist attraction. It is often referred to as the Bronze Age Pompeii. Let me remind you that the excavations of Pompeii continue to this day. Scientists recently discovered the slave room that I talked about earlier.
Despite the scale of the disaster, nothere is no first-hand evidence of a volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami. Therefore, researchers sought to obtain more information about the impact of the disaster on life in the Mediterranean, especially on the life of the Minoans. Minoia is a rich maritime power centered on the island of Crete. Akrotiri is one of the Minoan cities destroyed by natural disaster.
A 3600-year-old village in Cesme-Baglararasi
In an article published in the journal Proceedings ofthe National Academy of Sciences, describes research at the Cesme-Baglararasi archaeological site, located in the popular resort town of Cesme on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Excavations began in 2002, when ancient ceramics were discovered in the ground during the construction of a house.
Archaeologists were confident that they had found one ofcoastal settlements that emerged here from the middle of the third millennium BC to the 13th century BC. But, unlike the well-preserved buildings and roads discovered earlier, in this area archaeologists came across collapsed walls of fortresses, layers of ash, piles of ceramics, bones and sea shells. In other words, the find was strikingly different from what was found earlier on the Aegean coast.
In the process of research, archaeologists succeededdiscover not only traces of a volcanic eruption, but also a tsunami. As the authors of the work note, tsunami traces are generally very rare, since they are difficult to identify. For example, collapsed buildings can also be the result of earthquakes, floods or storms. But even such evidence may fade over time, especially in drier regions such as the Aegean coast.
Despite the fact that the aftermath of the eruption of Theracan be seen far away in the Greenland ice sheets and among the pines of California forests, so far only six areas with signs of the Tera tsunami have been identified. The discovered village became the seventh site. It not only has clear signs of a tsunami, but can also serve as an example of the consequences of a tsunami for archaeologists.
Further research showed that onCesme Baglararasi was hit by four tsunami waves over several days or weeks. This is especially exciting since the eruption of Thera consisted of four phases. Researchers are wondering which phase of the eruption triggered the most powerful tsunami that caused the most damage.
Why there are no victims of the disaster
One of the biggest mysteries of the eruption of Thera -no casualties. According to experts, more than 35 thousand people died as a result of the tsunami provoked by the eruption of another volcano - Krakatoa. A similar number of victims is attributed to the tsunami in the Aegean Sea.
However, so far only one person has beenidentified as a possible victim of Thera, whose remains were found under rubble in the Santorini archipelago during exploration in the late 19th century. However, there is no convincing evidence for this, a person could also have been a victim of an earthquake.
Theories about zero casualties vary.According to one, earlier, smaller eruptions forced people to leave the area before the catastrophic eruption took place. According to another version, the victims were burned by superheated gases or died at sea.
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During excavations in Chesme-Baglararasithe researchers found the first victim of the accident - the remains of the skeleton of a young, healthy man with signs of trauma with a blunt object. Nearby in the collapsed doorway were the remains of a dog.
During excavations, scientists discoveredevidence that as the water receded after the tsunami, surviving residents sought victims for burial. Most likely they did this to reduce the incidence of illness after the natural disaster. This may explain the absence of human remains in the destruction zone in the Aegean Sea.
Scientists still have many questionsconcerning the exact time of the eruption of Thera and the damage it inflicted on the Mediterranean world of the Bronze Age. However, researchers hope this study will prompt archaeologists working in the region to take another look at their excavations, and perhaps find evidence of one of the most devastating natural disasters in history that might seem elusive at first glance. Finally, we note that there are many dangerous volcanoes on Earth that still threaten humanity.