Sunday, June 12, 2011

Santorini: Plato's Atlantis or destroyer of Minoa?

Image of the Santorini crater courtesy of Thira Hotels.

Like Krakatoa, Santorini in Greece was blasted out of the water by a volcanic cataclysm, leaving only the crescent-shaped edge and some small islands.

Many scholars agree that Plato's Atlantis legend contained some historical truth. Was Santorini perhaps the fabled continent of Atlantis? Tom Pfeiffer suggests that it could have been.

Santorini's shape fits the description of Atlantis made by the ancient Greek writers Solon and Plato. It is known to have erupted violently around 1500 BC. Archeological evidence confirms the existence of past civilizations in the island group that includes Santorini.

The Minoan civilization declined after an earthquake on Crete and a volcanic explosion and tidal wave on a nearby island. Scholars have no definitive understanding of the Minoans' demise.

Perhaps Santorini, along with nearby Crete, was also part of Minoa. If this is the case, the massive eruption that devastated the island could have been a major factor in the decline of Minoan civilization.

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