Abraham Abram, is the common patriarch of the three Abrahamic religions. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenant of the pieces, the special relationship between the Jewish people and God; the narrative in Genesis revolves around the themes of land. Abraham is called by God to leave the house of his father Terah and settle in the land given to Canaan but which God now promises to Abraham and his progeny. Various candidates are put forward. Abraham purchases a tomb at Hebron to be Sarah's grave. Abraham marries Keturah and has six more sons; the Abraham story cannot be definitively related to any specific time, it is agreed that the patriarchal age, along with the exodus and the period of the judges, is a late literary construct that does not relate to any period in actual history. A common hypothesis among scholars is that it was composed in the early Persian period as a result of tensions between Jewish landowners who had stayed in Judah during the Babylonian captivity and traced their right to the land through their "father Abraham", the returning exiles who based their counter-claim on Moses and the Exodus tradition.
Terah, the ninth in descent from Noah, was the father of three sons: Abram and Haran. The entire family, including grandchildren, lived in Ur of the Chaldees. In his youth, Abram worked in Terah's idol shop. Haran was the father of Lot, thus Lot was Abram's nephew. Haran died in Ur of the Chaldees. Abram married Sarah, barren. Terah, with Abram and Lot departed for Canaan, but settled in a place named Haran, where Terah died at the age of 205. God had told Abram to leave his country and kindred and go to a land that he would show him, promised to make of him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, bless them that bless him, curse them who may curse him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran with his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, the substance and souls that they had acquired, traveled to Shechem in Canaan. There was a severe famine in the land of Canaan, so that Abram and Lot and their households, traveled to Egypt. On the way Abram told Sarai to say that she was his sister, so that the Egyptians would not kill him.
When they entered Egypt, the Pharaoh's officials praised Sarai's beauty to Pharaoh, they took her into the palace and gave Abram goods in exchange. God afflicted Pharaoh and his household with plagues, which led Pharaoh to try to find out what was wrong. Upon discovering that Sarai was a married woman, Pharaoh demanded that Sarai leave; when they came back to the Bethel and Hai area, Abram's and Lot's sizable herds occupied the same pastures. This became a problem for the herdsmen; the conflicts between herdsmen had become so troublesome that Abram suggested that Lot choose a separate area, either on the left hand or on the right hand, that there be no conflict amongst brethren. Lot chose to go eastward to the plain of Jordan where the land was well watered everywhere as far as Zoar, he dwelled in the cities of the plain toward Sodom. Abram went south to Hebron and settled in the plain of Mamre, where he built another altar to worship God. During the rebellion of the Jordan River cities against Elam, Abram's nephew, was taken prisoner along with his entire household by the invading Elamite forces.
The Elamite army came to collect the spoils of war, after having just defeated the king of Sodom's armies. Lot and his family, at the time, were settled on the outskirts of the Kingdom of Sodom which made them a visible target. One person who escaped capture told Abram what happened. Once Abram received this news, he assembled 318 trained servants. Abram's force headed north in pursuit of the Elamite army, who were worn down from the Battle of Siddim; when they caught up with them at Dan, Abram devised a battle plan by splitting his group into more than one unit, launched a night raid. Not only were they able to free the captives, Abram's unit chased and slaughtered the Elamite King Chedorlaomer at Hobah, just north of Damascus, they freed Lot, as well as his household and possessions, recovered all of the goods from Sodom, taken. Upon Abram's return, Sodom's king came out to meet with him in the Valley of Shaveh, the "king's dale". Melchizedek king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, brought out bread and wine and blessed Abram and God.
Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom offered to let Abram keep all the possessions if he would return his people. Abram refused any deal from the king of Sodom, other than the share to which his allies were entitled; the voice of the Lord came to Abram in a vision and repeated the promise of the land and descendants as numerous as the stars. Abram and God made a covenant ce
17th century BC
The 17th century BC was a century which lasted from 1700 BC to 1601 BC. c. 1700 BC: Indus Valley Civilization comes to an end but is continued by the Cemetery H culture. 1700 BC: Belu-bani became the King of Assyria. C. 1700 BC: Minoan Old Palace period ends and Minoan Second Palace period starts in Ancient Greece. C. 1700 BC: beginning of the Late Minoan period on Crete. C. 1700 BC: Aegean metalworkers are producing decorative objects rivaling those of Ancient Near East jewelers, whose techniques they seem to borrow. C. 1700 BC: Lila-Ir-Tash started to rule the Elamite Empire. C. 1700 BC: 1450 BC: Young girl gathering saffron crocus flowers, detail of wall painting, Room 3 of House Xeste 3, Thera, is made. Second Palace period, it is now kept in Petros M. Nomikos, Greece. C. 1700 BC: Bronze Age starts in China. C. 1698 BC: Lila-Ir-Tash the ruler of the Elamite Empire died. Temti-Agun I started to rule the Elamite Empire. 1691 BC: Belu-bani, the King of Assyria died. C. 1690 BC: Temti-Agun I, the ruler of the Elamite Empire, died.
Tan-Uli started to rule the Elamite Empire. 1690 BC: Libaia became the King of Assyria. C. 1680 BC: Egypt: Development of leavened bread. 1675 BC: Tang of Shang, first ruler of the Shang Dynasty becomes ruler in China. C. 1673 BC: Sharma-Adad I became the King of Assyria. C. 1661 BC: Iptar-Sin became the King of Assyria. C. 1655 BC: Tan-Uli, the ruler of the Elamite Empire, died. C. 1650 BC: Collapse of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt. C. 1650 BC: Conquest of Memphis by the Hyksos and collapse of the 13th Dynasty of Egypt. C. 1650 BC: Start of the 15th and 16th Dynasties of Egypt. C. 1650 BC: Possibly, start of the Abydos Dynasty in Upper Egypt. C. 1646 BC or earlier: Jie of Xia is overthrown by Tang of Shang in the Battle of Mingtiao. 1649 BC: Bazaia became the King of Assyria. 1633 BC – May 2 – Lunar Saros 34 begins. 1627 BC: Beginning of a cooling of world climate lasting several years recorded in tree-rings all over the world. It may have been caused by the Avellino eruption of Mount Vesuvius. 1625 BC: Samsu-Ditana becomes King of Babylon.
1621 BC: Lullaia becomes the King of Assyria. 1620 BC: Mursili I becomes King of the Hittite Empire. 1615 BC: Shu-Ninua became the King of Assyria. Jie, The last ruler of Xia Dynasty, ruled China for 52 years until 1600 BC according to the Xia–Shang–Zhou Chronology Project. 1686 BC – Hammurabi 1684 BC – Heremon, Irish legend The last known population of woolly mammoth, preserved on Wrangel Island, becomes extinct. See: List of sovereign states in the 17th century BC
Genesis creation narrative
The Genesis creation narrative is the creation myth of both Judaism and Christianity. The narrative is made up of two stories equivalent to the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis. In the first, Elohim creates the heavens and the Earth in six days rests on, blesses and sanctifies the seventh. In the second story, now referred to by the personal name Yahweh, creates Adam, the first man, from dust and places him in the Garden of Eden, where he is given dominion over the animals. Eve, the first woman, is created as his companion. Borrowing themes from Mesopotamian mythology, but adapting them to the Israelite people's belief in one God, the first major comprehensive draft of the Pentateuch was composed in the late 7th or the 6th century BCE and was expanded by other authors into a work like the one we have today; the two sources can be identified in the creation narrative: Jahwistic. The combined narrative is a critique of the Mesopotamian theology of creation: Genesis affirms monotheism and denies polytheism.
Robert Alter described the combined narrative as "compelling in its archetypal character, its adaptation of myth to monotheistic ends". Different interpretations of the genre of the Genesis creation narrative, meaning the intention of the author and the culture within which they wrote, exist; as scholar of Jewish studies, Jon D. Levenson, puts it: How much history lies behind the story of Genesis? Because the action of the primeval story is not represented as taking place on the plane of ordinary human history and has so many affinities with ancient mythology, it is far-fetched to speak of its narratives as historical at all." Although tradition attributes Genesis to Moses, biblical scholars hold that it, together with the following four books, is "a composite work, the product of many hands and periods." A common hypothesis among biblical scholars today is that the first major comprehensive draft of the Pentateuch was composed in the late 7th or the 6th century BCE, that this was expanded by the addition of various narratives and laws into a work like the one existing today.
As for the historical background which led to the creation of the narrative itself, a theory which has gained considerable interest, although still controversial, is "Persian imperial authorisation". This proposes that the Persians, after their conquest of Babylon in 538 BCE, agreed to grant Jerusalem a large measure of local autonomy within the empire, but required the local authorities to produce a single law code accepted by the entire community, it further proposes that there were two powerful groups in the community – the priestly families who controlled the Temple, the landowning families who made up the "elders" – and that these two groups were in conflict over many issues, that each had its own "history of origins", but the Persian promise of increased local autonomy for all provided a powerful incentive to cooperate in producing a single text. The creation narrative is made up of two stories equivalent to the two first chapters of the Book of Genesis; the first account employs a repetitious structure of divine fiat and fulfillment the statement "And there was evening and there was morning, the day," for each of the six days of creation.
In each of the first three days there is an act of division: day one divides the darkness from light, day two the "waters above" from the "waters below", day three the sea from the land. In each of the next three days these divisions are populated: day four populates the darkness and light with Sun and stars. Consistency was evidently not seen as essential to storytelling in ancient Near Eastern literature; the overlapping stories of Genesis 1 and 2 are contradictory but complementary, with the first concerned with the creation of the entire cosmos while the second focuses on man as moral agent and cultivator of his environment. The regimented seven-day narrative of Genesis 1 features an omnipotent God who creates a god-like humanity, while the one-day creation of Genesis 2 uses a simple linear narrative, a God who can fail as well as succeed, a humanity, not god-like but is punished for acts which would lead to their becoming god-like; the order and method of creation differs. "Together, this combination of parallel character and contrasting profile point to the different origin of materials in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, however elegantly they have now been combined."The primary accounts in each chapter are joined by a literary bridge at Genesis 2:4|, "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created."
This echoes the first line of Genesis 1, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth", is reversed in the next phrase, "...in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens". This verse is one of ten "generations" phrases used throughout Genesis, which provide a literary structure to the book, they function as headings to what comes after, but the position of this, the first of the series, has been the subject of much debate. Comparative mythology provides historical and cross-cultura
The Cyclades are an island group in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece and a former administrative prefecture of Greece. They are one of the island groups; the name refers to the islands around the sacred island of Delos. The largest island of the Cyclades is Naxos; the significant Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Cycladic culture is best known for its schematic, flat idols carved out of the islands' pure white marble centuries before the great Middle Bronze Age Minoan civilization arose in Crete to the south. A distinctive Neolithic culture amalgamating Anatolian and mainland Greek elements arose in the western Aegean before 4000 BCE, based on emmer and wild-type barley and goats, tuna that were speared from small boats. Excavated sites include Saliagos and Kephala with signs of copperworking, Each of the small Cycladic islands could support no more than a few thousand people, though Late Cycladic boat models show that fifty oarsmen could be assembled from the scattered communities, when the organized palace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, with the exception of Delos, which retained its archaic reputation as a sanctuary throughout antiquity and until the emergence of Christianity.
The first archaeological excavations of the 1880s were followed by systematic work by the British School at Athens and by Christos Tsountas, who investigated burial sites on several islands in 1898–1899 and coined the term "Cycladic civilization". Interest lagged picked up in the mid-20th century, as collectors competed for the modern-looking figures that seemed so similar to sculpture by Jean Arp or Constantin Brâncuși. Sites were looted and a brisk trade in forgeries arose; the context for many of these Cycladic figurines has been destroyed and their meaning may never be understood. Another intriguing and mysterious object is that of the Cycladic frying pans. More accurate archaeology has revealed the broad outlines of a farming and seafaring culture that had immigrated from Anatolia c. 5000 BCE. Early Cycladic culture evolved in three phases, between c. 3300 – 2000 BCE, when it was swamped in the rising influence of Minoan Crete. The culture of mainland Greece contemporary with Cycladic culture is known as the Helladic period.
In recent decades the Cyclades have become popular with European and other tourists, as a result there have been problems with erosion and water shortages. The Cyclades comprise about 220 islands, the major ones being Amorgos, Andros, Delos, Kea, Kythnos, Mykonos, Paros, Serifos, Sikinos, Syros and Thira or Santoríni. There are many minor islands including Donousa, Gyaros, Koufonisia, Makronisos and Schoinousa; the name "Cyclades" refers to the islands forming a circle around the sacred island of Delos. Most of the smaller islands are uninhabited. Ermoupoli on Syros is the chief town and administrative center of the former prefecture; the islands are peaks of a submerged mountainous terrain, with the exception of two volcanic islands and Santorini. The climate is dry and mild, but with the exception of Naxos the soil is not fertile. Cooler temperatures are in higher elevations and do not receive wintry weather; the Cyclades are bounded to the south by the Sea of Crete. The Cyclades Prefecture was one of the prefectures of Greece.
As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the prefecture was abolished, its territory was divided into nine regional units of the South Aegean region: Andros Kea-Kythnos Milos Mykonos Naxos Paros Thira Syros Tinos The prefecture was subdivided into the following municipalities and communities. These have been reorganised at the 2011 Kallikratis reform as well. Province of Amorgos: Amorgos Province of Andros: Andros Province of Kea: Ioulis Province of Milos: Milos Province of Naxos: Naxos Province of Paros: Paroikia Province of Syros: Ermoupoli Province of Tinos: Tinos Province of Thira: ThiraNote: Provinces no longer hold any legal status in Greece. Local specialities of the Cyclades include: Brantada Fava santorinis Fourtalia Kalasouna Kalogeros Kakavia Ladopita Louza, similar to the Cypriot lountza Mastelo Strapatsada Lazarakia Melopita Aegean cat Nisiotika music Santorini wine Mosaics of Delos J. A. MacGillivray and R. L. N. Barber, The Prehistoric Cyclades 1984. R. L. N. Barber, The Cyclades in the Bronze Age 1987.
Peter Saundry, C. Michael Hogan & Steve Baum. 2011. Sea of Crete. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. M. Pidwirny & C. J. Cleveland. National Council for Science and Environment. Washington DC. Jeremy B. Rutter, "The Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean": Lessons 2 and 4: chronology, bibliography Cyclades The Official website of the Greek National Tourism Organisation
Santorini Thira and classic Greek Thera, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece's mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera, it forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of 73 km2 and a 2011 census population of 15,550. The municipality of Santorini includes the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni and Christiana; the total land area is 90.623 km2. Santorini is part of the Thira regional unit; the island was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption, which occurred about 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of metres deep, it may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km to the south, through a gigantic tsunami.
Another popular theory holds. It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is chiefly a water-filled caldera; the volcanic arc is 500 km long and 20 to 40 km wide. The region first became volcanically active around 3–4 million years ago, though volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around the Akrotiri. Santorini was named by the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century, is a reference to Saint Irene, from the name of the old cathedral in the village of Perissa – the name Santorini is a contraction of the name Santa Irini. Before it was known as Kallístē, Strongýlē, or Thēra; the name Thera was revived in the nineteenth century as the official name of the island and its main city, but the colloquial name Santorini is still in popular use. The present municipality of Thera, which covers all settlements on the islands of Santorini and Therasia, was formed at the 2011 local government reform, by the merger of the former Oia and Thera municipalities.
Oia is now called a Κοινότητα, within the municipality of Thera, it consists of the local subdivisions of Therasia and Oia. The municipality of Thera includes an additional 12 local subdivisions on Santorini island: Akrotiri, Episkopis Gonia, Exo Gonia, Karterados, Mesaria, Pyrgos Kallistis, Thera and Vourvoulos. Santorini's primary industry is tourism; the two main sources of wealth in Santorini are tourism. In recent years, Santorini has been voted one of the world's most beautiful islands. Santorini remains the home of a small, but flourishing wine industry, based on the indigenous Assyrtiko grape variety. White varieties include Athiri and Aidani, whereas red varieties include mavrotragano and mandilaria; the Cyclades are part of a metamorphic complex, known as the Cycladic Massif. The complex formed during the Miocene and was folded and metamorphosed during the Alpine orogeny around 60 million years ago. Thera is built upon a small, non-volcanic basement that represents the former non-volcanic island, 9 by 6 km.
The basement rock is composed of metamorphosed limestone and schist, which date from the Alpine Orogeny. These non-volcanic rocks are exposed at Mikro Profititis Ilias, Mesa Vouno, the Gavrillos ridge, Pyrgos and the inner side of the caldera wall between Cape Plaka and Athinios; the metamorphic grade is a blueschist facies, which results from tectonic deformation by the subduction of the African Plate beneath the Eurasian Plate. Subduction occurred between the Oligocene and the Miocene, the metamorphic grade represents the southernmost extent of the Cycladic blueschist belt. Volcanism on Santorini is due to the Hellenic Trench subduction zone southwest of Crete; the oceanic crust of the northern margin of the African Plate is being subducted under Greece and the Aegean Sea, thinned continental crust. The subduction compels the formation of the Hellenic arc, which includes Santorini and other volcanic centres, such as Methana and Kos; the island is the result of repeated sequences of shield volcano construction followed by caldera collapse.
The inner coast around the caldera is a sheer precipice of more than 300 metres drop at its highest, exhibits the various layers of solidified lava on top of each other, the main towns perched on the crest. The ground slopes outwards and downwards towards the outer perimeter, the outer beaches are smooth and shallow. Beach sand colour depends on; the water at the darker coloured beaches is warmer because the lava acts as a heat absorber. The area of Santorini incorporates a group of islands created by volcanoes, spanning across Thera, Aspronisi and Nea Kameni. Santorini has erupted many times, with varying degrees of explosivity. There have been at least twelve large explosive eruptions, of which at least four were caldera-forming; the most famous eruption is the Minoan eruption, detailed below
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. This can occur only when the Sun and Moon are or closely aligned, with Earth between the other two. A lunar eclipse can occur only on the night of a full moon; the type and length of a lunar eclipse depend on the Moon's proximity to either node of its orbit. During a total lunar eclipse, Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon; the only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth's atmosphere. This light appears reddish for the same reason that a sunset or sunrise does: the Rayleigh scattering of bluer light. Due to this reddish color, a eclipsed Moon is sometimes called a blood moon. Unlike a solar eclipse, which can only be viewed from a small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth. A total lunar eclipse can last up to nearly 2 hours, while a total solar eclipse lasts only up to a few minutes at any given place, due to the smaller size of the Moon's shadow.
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon. For the date of the next eclipse, see the section Recent and forthcoming lunar eclipses. Earth's shadow can be divided into two distinctive parts: penumbra. Earth occludes direct solar radiation within the umbra, the central region of the shadow. However, since the Sun's diameter appears about one-quarter of Earth's in the lunar sky, the planet only blocks direct sunlight within the penumbra, the outer portion of the shadow. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs; the penumbra causes a subtle dimming of the lunar surface. A special type of penumbral eclipse is a total penumbral lunar eclipse, during which the Moon lies within Earth's penumbra. Total penumbral eclipses are rare, when these occur, the portion of the Moon closest to the umbra may appear darker than the rest of the lunar disk. A partial lunar eclipse occurs when only a portion of the Moon enters Earth's umbra, while a total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire Moon enters the planet's umbra.
The Moon's average orbital speed is about 1.03 km/s, or a little more than its diameter per hour, so totality may last up to nearly 107 minutes. The total time between the first and the last contacts of the Moon's limb with Earth's shadow is much longer and could last up to four hours; the relative distance of the Moon from Earth at the time of an eclipse can affect the eclipse's duration. In particular, when the Moon is near apogee, the farthest point from Earth in its orbit, its orbital speed is the slowest; the diameter of Earth's umbra does not decrease appreciably within the changes in the Moon's orbital distance. Thus, the concurrence of a eclipsed Moon near apogee will lengthen the duration of totality. A central lunar eclipse is a total lunar eclipse during which the Moon passes through the centre of Earth's shadow, contacting the antisolar point; this type of lunar eclipse is rare. A selenelion or selenehelion occurs when both the Sun and an eclipsed Moon can be observed at the same time.
This can occur only just before sunset or just after sunrise, when both bodies will appear just above the horizon at nearly opposite points in the sky. This arrangement has led to the phenomenon being called a horizontal eclipse. A number of high ridges undergoing sunrise or sunset can view it. Although the Moon is in Earth's umbra, both the Sun and an eclipsed Moon can be seen because atmospheric refraction causes each body to appear higher in the sky than their true geometric positions; the timing of total lunar eclipses are determined by its contacts: P1: Beginning of the penumbral eclipse. Earth's penumbra touches the Moon's outer limb. U1: Beginning of the partial eclipse. Earth's umbra touches the Moon's outer limb. U2: Beginning of the total eclipse; the Moon's surface is within Earth's umbra. Greatest eclipse: The peak stage of the total eclipse; the Moon is at its closest to the center of Earth's umbra. U3: End of the total eclipse; the Moon's outer limb exits Earth's umbra. U4: End of the partial eclipse.
Earth's umbra leaves the Moon's surface. P4: End of the penumbral eclipse. Earth's penumbra no longer makes contact with the Moon; the following scale was devised by André Danjon for rating the overall darkness of lunar eclipses: L=0: Very dark eclipse. Moon invisible at mid-totality. L=1: Dark eclipse, gray or brownish in coloration. Details distinguishable only with difficulty. L=2: Deep red or rust-colored eclipse. Dark central shadow, while outer edge of umbra is bright. L=3: Brick-red eclipse. Umbral shadow has a bright or yellow rim. L=4: Very bright copper-red or orange eclipse. Umbral shadow is bluish and has a bright rim. There is confusion between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. While both involve interactions between the Sun and the Moon, they are different in their interactions; the Moon does not darken as it passes through the umbra because of the refraction of sunlight by Earth's atmosphere into the shadow cone. The reddish coloration arises because sunlight reaching the Moon must pass through a long and dense layer of Earth's atmosphere, where it is scattered.
Shorter wavelengths are more to be scattered by the air molecules and small particles.
Akrotiri is a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on the volcanic Greek island of Santorini. The name and the population are Greek; the civilization of the Bronze Age city, shows affinities to early Cretan civilization, going by its writing system, was undoubtedly not Greek. The Greeks arrived in Crete during the Mycenaean Period than Akrotiri; the date of their diffusion through the Cyclades remains a mystery, but there is nothing identifiably Greek at Akrotiri. The settlement was destroyed in the Theran eruption sometime in the 16th century BC and buried in volcanic ash, which preserved the remains of fine frescoes and many objects and artworks; the settlement has been suggested as a possible inspiration for Plato's story of Atlantis. If true the Athenians must have inherited the story from non-Greek sources. Athens itself is too old to have been Greek, but the date of its Hellenization is uncertain. In any case the Atlantis speculation is only one of many. Akrotiri has been excavated since 1967; the earliest evidence for human habitation of Akrotiri can be traced back as early as the fifth millennium BC, when it was a small fishing and farming village.
By the end of the third millennium, this community expanded significantly. One factor for Akrotiri's growth may be the trade relations it established with other cultures in the Aegean, as evidenced in fragments of foreign pottery at the site. Akrotiri's strategic position on the primary sailing route between Cyprus and Minoan Crete made it an important point for the copper trade, thus allowing it to become an important center for processing copper, as proven by the discovery of molds and crucibles there. Akrotiri's prosperity continued for about another 500 years; this all came to an end, however, in the 16th century BC with the volcanic eruption of Thera. There is a variety of dating evidence for the eruption. Radiocarbon dating places it most between 1620 and 1530 BC, in accord with the date range of 1570 to 1500 BC suggested by similarities of the material culture with other sites in the Aegean. Unusual growth patterns observed in tree rings in 1597, 1560, 1546 and 1544 BC are consistent with a major volcanic event in any those years.
The latter three dates might be the best candidates as they are considered possible for Egyptian New Kingdom records that are thought to refer to the eruption. The Akrotiri excavation site is of a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on the Greek island of Santorini, associated with the Minoan civilization due to inscriptions in Linear A, close similarities in artifact and fresco styles; the excavation is named for a modern village situated on a hill nearby. The name of the site in antiquity is unknown. Akrotiri was buried by the massive Theran eruption in the middle of the second millennium BC. Frescoes, furniture, advanced drainage systems and three-story buildings have been discovered at the site; the earliest excavations on Santorini were conducted by French geologist F. Fouque in 1867, after some local people found old artifacts at a quarry. In 1895-1900, the digs by German archeologist Baron Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen revealed the ruins of ancient Thera on Mesa Vouno. A little R. Zahn excavated in the locality of Potamos, near Akrotiri, under the auspices of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens.
Extensive modern excavation was started in 1967 by Spyridon Marinatos and revealed the full value of this site. Spyridon Marinatos' choice of site proved to be correct and just a few hours into the excavation, the remains of the buried city began to be discovered; the next step was to determine the extent of the city, to which it took two whole seasons devoted to the site in 1967 and 1968. In the early years of the excavation, a great deal of attention was paid towards the organization of proper facilities for the dig, including substantial workshops, laboratories built for storage and treatment and areas for examination of archaeological finds; because of the site being preserved in thick, volcanic debris, Marinatos noted that many of the buildings were preserved to a height of more than a single story, creating unique challenges for excavation. He experimented with tunneling into the pumice, but this technique was abandoned; some historians hold that this settlement, as well as the disaster that left it unknown to most of history, was the inspiration behind Plato's story of Atlantis, as mentioned in his dialogues Timaeus and Critias.
Excavated artifacts have been installed in a museum distant from the site, with many objects and artworks presented. Only a single gold object has been found, hidden beneath flooring, no uninterred human skeletal remains have been found; this indicates that an orderly evacuation was performed with no loss of life. An ambitious modern roof structure, meant to protect the site, collapsed just prior to its completion in 2005, killing one visitor. No damage was caused to the antiquities; as a result the site was closed to visitors until April 2012. In October 2018, a small shrine with a marble figurine of a woman was discovered in the "House of the Thrania", located near Xeste 3, where a golden goat was found in 1999. All of the pigments used by the artists at Akrotiri for painting the frescoes look as though they are all mineral based and thus have resulted in the great preservation