Upcoming Events

The Enigma of the Correct Date of the Santorini Volcanic Eruption

March 4, 2014 11:00AM to 12:00PM
Presenter 
Walter Kutschera, VERA Laboratory, University of Vienna, Austria
Location 
Building 203, Room R150
Type 
Seminar
Series 
Physics Division Special Physics Seminar
Abstract:
The volcanic eruption of Santorini (one of the Aegean islands of Greece, in ancient times called Thera) was a cataclysmic event in the middle of the second millennium B.C. Since it provides an absolute time beacon, a correct date of the eruption is of great interest for synchronizing civilizations during the Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, despite considerable efforts on different frontiers, the debate on the correct date remains largely polarized between archaeologists and scientists, who disagree on the absolute date by about 100 years. The situation as it stands will be discussed, with an outlook for possible solutions of the problem.