Thera in the Bronze Age

Thera in the Bronze Age

Thera in the Bronze Age

Thera in the Bronze Age

Synopsis

"The modern excavations at Akrotiri, on the Greek island of Thera (also known as Santorini), have provided students of antiquity with a unique opportunity to examine the civilization of the Aegean Bronze Age (3000-1100 BC) and the role of Thera within it. Thera in the Bronze Age presents a detailed study of the geography, history, and culture of a vibrant society that met its end in a catastrophic volcanic eruption which, ironically, preserved the city at Akrotiri just as it was in its final moments." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Lying approximately 100 kilometers north of Crete, the volcanic island of Thera ranks among the most awe-inspiring places of the world. Wildly beautiful but ever threatening, it bears witness to one of the greatest natural disasters in human history. Only in the last thirty years, however, have scholars begun to unlock the secrets of its past, mainly through the continuing excavation of the Bronze Age site called Akrotiri.

There is a tremendous amount of general interest both in this excavation and in the island itself. Since the late 1970s I have been invited to speak to many academic and non-academic audiences about Thera and Akrotiri. The lively question period that inevitably ensues always includes a request for the titles of relevant and readable books in English. Aside from Christos Doumas' Thera: Pompeii of the Ancient Aegean (1983), however, very little of a non- specialist nature is presently available, and even Doumas' book is now hard to obtain and out of date in light of the progress made at Akrotiri since 1983. As a result, in 1990 I finally gave in to the request of many people that I myself write a book for both students of the Aegean Bronze Age and the general public.

The result is a book that attempts to synthesize and interpret the work that has been done in many fields and reported in specialized journals or in conference proceedings. For those wishing to know more I have included comprehensive notes and a bibliography concentrating for the most part on works in English. My aim throughout this compact volume has been to reach as wide an audience as possible. I leave it to readers to judge how successful I have been.

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