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Re: Tsunami food for thought

> Didn't the Minoans last several hundred years longer? --Thera/Santorini did 
> explode at that time, but it wasn't as huge an explosion as used to be 
> thought. It was already a seawater-filled caldera before that time. I saw a 
> documentary about this on TV some years ago. <

Yes, that was once the thinking. However, research has shown that the Minoans 
only lasted about 50 years after Santorini did its thing. Every generation, 
pottery styles change. The Minoan style only changed once after the 
devastation. Evidence now points to war, probably invading Greeks due to the 
weakened state of the Minoans (they lost all their navy and trading ports due 
to the volcano), finally delivered the final blow. It's interesting to note 
that no volcanic casualties have ever been found, like those at Pompeii. Bodies 
that have been unearthed were the products of the war mentioned above (buried 
with weapons, etc). Ash and pumice fall effected the highlands on Crete, where 
the palace and bulk of the city was located. This also would have caused the 
survivors to be plagued years later by a particular form of cancer caused by 
the inhaling of volcanic ash. The tsunami only erased all those settled along 
the shores (vital shipping/trading ports, and the navy, which looks like to
 have had its main base on Santorini). And yes, Thera, b eing a marine volcano 
(deadliest out there due to their powerfully explosive natures) was already in 
a state much like it resembles today, however, the central caldera was ringed 
by the sea, not completely flooded byt it. The final explosion brought an end 
to that, collapsing the walls and spilling water directly into the central 
magma chamber. Dives into the lagoon have finally been done to confirm the 
extent of the fracturing of the caldera and current rim, and allowing for 
direct sampling of the lava to gain proper insight into the chemical evolution 
of the eruption. One hell of a steam bomb if there ever was one. It's now been 
calculated that 30-40 cubic kilometers of magma were let loose all at once into 
the sea... It was the largest explosion ever witnessed, definitely many times 
more powerful that Krakatau.  How the volcano looks today (two vents with lava 
dome, made up of two central islands), is a product of subsequent
 eruptions that followed up in to the mid 19!