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Santorini Archipelago

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Stuart Dunn
Contributors: Jeffrey Becker
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Jul 24, 2014 02:10 PM History
The islands of the Santorini archipelago, inhabited until the Late Bronze Age, were formed by modern and historic volcanism.

36.4, 25.4

archipelago, island group


The present-day Santorini archipelago is the result of millennia of volcanism. The present-day caldera is largely the result of the eruption in the Late Bronze Age, although traces of a much earlier massive eruption are visible in the southern part of it. This eruption marks the end of the Late Minoan IA/Late Cycladic I period in the region, as attested at the site of Akrotiri on present-day Thera, the largest island in the group. Before these, there was one island, designated 'Stronghyle' by geographers, due to its round shape. In Classical antiquity the islands known as 'Hiera' or 'Calliste', although it is likely that these names were used to refer mainly to refer to Thera. 

The subsequent topography, including the development of the present-day islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni in the central caldera, can be traced through historic cartography. In a 1620 map by Thomaso Porcacchi, a total of fifteen islands is depicted, although this might be cartographic license. Interestingly however, there is only *one* island in the central caldera, named 'Caimeni', and this is therefore given a separate attestation in Pleiades. 

A detailed survey was undertaken in the C19th by the British Royal Navy. This survey shows that before 1866, there were in fact six islands in the group. In addition to the present-day five, there was a small island named as 'Mikro Kameni' just off the north east tip of what is now Nea Kameni. This was joined to the present-day Nea Kameni at some point after this, most probably in the major period of volcanic activity between 1866 and 1870. On this basis, Mikro Kameni also has its own Pleiades record.

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Stuart Dunn, and Jeffrey Becker, 'Santorini Archipelago: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2014 <> [accessed: 02 October 2023]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 808255902 (Santorini Archipelago) |author=Dunn, S. |accessdate=October 2, 2023 7:47 pm |publisher=Pleiades}}