Greece's Pompeii: The Santorini Volcano and the Minoan Eruption with Dimitra Pilarinou

Greece's Pompeii: The Santorini Volcano and the Minoan Eruption with Dimitra Pilarinou


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Crete and Santorini, two of the most beautiful, picturesque Greek islands in the Aegean archipelago were 3,600 years ago, in the Late Bronze Age of Greece, major players in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Crete was the capital of the Minoan world, with Santorini as its cosmopolitan hub. They experienced an apocalypse and their own version of Pompeii: the Minoan Eruption of the Santorini Volcano. This conversation will delve into one of the greatest natural disasters this world has experienced.

Minoan Crete was thriving in its heyday. Bustling cities and busy harbors scattered throughout the island were the backdrop of an affluent society, open but selective to external influences of neighboring cultures such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and Syria. Just sixty miles north of Crete, in the Cyclades, Santorini was a major link in the trade network during the second millennium BC. The excavation of its Bronze Age settlement of Akrotiri has revealed a prosperous city of 30,000 people: farmers, artists, craftsmen, sailors, and merchants dwelled in magnificent, anti-seismic multi-story buildings decorated with beautiful frescoes and intricate drainage-sewerage network. It was a well-off society heavily influenced by its powerful Cretan neighbors but able to forge its own unique Cycladic cultural identity. However, this idyllic world was doomed to come to a sudden end.

In one of the largest eruptions in the last 100,000 years, the volcano of Santorini exploded in the late seventeenth century BC with the force of 40,000 Hiroshima bombs (VEI 7) ending all life and burying Akrotiri under a thirty-meter blanket of pumice and ash, a true Bronze Age Pompeii. Santorini was wiped out: the maritime trade which was the lifeblood of the Minoans, was abruptly cut and the balance of power shifted in the eastern Mediterranean. The largest eruption witnessed by humanity had a physical, cultural, and economic impact worldwide as far as China and the Americas and possibly is the inspiration of one of the most famous, enduring tales of all times: the legend of Atlantis.

Led by an expert on the prehistoric archaeology of the Aegean, archaeologist MA Dimitra Pilarinou, this interactive seminar will explore the Minoan world before and after the cataclysmic eruption of the Santorini Volcano as well as its worldwide consequences. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the Minoan civilization in Crete and Santorini and how they were affected by the explosion according to the latest discoveries.

Dimitra Pilarinou is a Greek archaeologist and Licensed Tour Guide with a Masters degree in Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean. She has worked in excavations all around Greece, has given speeches on various topics in Seminars and Congresses, and has appeared on documentaries about the Minoans on History Channel and Travel Channel.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 54 reviews
98%
(53)
2%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.G. (San Francisco, US)
Greece’s Pompeii with Dimitra Pilarinou

I love attending Dimitra’s seminars. She is always engaging, knowledgeable and thorough. Fascinating topic

R
R.D.
The Santorini Volcano

This is a fascinating seminar for anyone interested in archaeology, history or the Greek Islands. Dimitra Pilarinou makes the story of this ancient town come alive in her highly organized and informative, yet entertaining presentation. The ruins of Akrotiri do not get the attention they deserve from the rest of the world! I particularly enjoyed how Dimitra tied the volcanic explosion to other historic references and also debunked some of the "Atlantis" myths that are floating around. Highly recommended.

B
B.J. (San Jose, US)
An excellent overview

This is the 4th lecture from Dimitra Pilarinou that we’ve attended, and like the others it was fascinating and superbly organized. Just this past October we visited Santorini and took a guided tour of Akrotiri, but we learned much more in this lecture than we even picked up on site. Dimitra placed everything in historical context, before, during, and after the eruption, and provided the best depiction of the actual event itself that I’ve seen. Highly recommended.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Volcano at Santorini

Dimitra Pilarinou is a most fantastic Archeologist. Her wonderful "conversation on the Santorini Volcano was more interesting and informative than I expected. In fact it was truly frightening to think that we are the "victims" of these natural catastrophies. I loved seeing what was found under the 200 feet of pumice and the tragedy of how this volcano caused so much havoc. I want to do another seminar with her!

S
Stephanie Daniel (Charlotte, US)
History of Santorini and its Volcano

Dimitra's presentation was thoughtful, informative and engaging. I specifically enjoyed learning about the current excavation efforts on the island. Truly fantastic!

Customer Reviews

Based on 54 reviews
98%
(53)
2%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.G. (San Francisco, US)
Greece’s Pompeii with Dimitra Pilarinou

I love attending Dimitra’s seminars. She is always engaging, knowledgeable and thorough. Fascinating topic

R
R.D.
The Santorini Volcano

This is a fascinating seminar for anyone interested in archaeology, history or the Greek Islands. Dimitra Pilarinou makes the story of this ancient town come alive in her highly organized and informative, yet entertaining presentation. The ruins of Akrotiri do not get the attention they deserve from the rest of the world! I particularly enjoyed how Dimitra tied the volcanic explosion to other historic references and also debunked some of the "Atlantis" myths that are floating around. Highly recommended.

B
B.J. (San Jose, US)
An excellent overview

This is the 4th lecture from Dimitra Pilarinou that we’ve attended, and like the others it was fascinating and superbly organized. Just this past October we visited Santorini and took a guided tour of Akrotiri, but we learned much more in this lecture than we even picked up on site. Dimitra placed everything in historical context, before, during, and after the eruption, and provided the best depiction of the actual event itself that I’ve seen. Highly recommended.

S
S.S. (Oxford, US)
Volcano at Santorini

Dimitra Pilarinou is a most fantastic Archeologist. Her wonderful "conversation on the Santorini Volcano was more interesting and informative than I expected. In fact it was truly frightening to think that we are the "victims" of these natural catastrophies. I loved seeing what was found under the 200 feet of pumice and the tragedy of how this volcano caused so much havoc. I want to do another seminar with her!

S
Stephanie Daniel (Charlotte, US)
History of Santorini and its Volcano

Dimitra's presentation was thoughtful, informative and engaging. I specifically enjoyed learning about the current excavation efforts on the island. Truly fantastic!