Dating the thera eruption

16 Aug

Their city was totally buried under many meters of volcanic ash.The eruption of the volcano at Thera (Santorini) in the Aegean Sea undoubtedly had a profound influence on the civilizations of the surrounding region.However, an international team of researchers led by Paolo Cherubini from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) has demonstrated in the scientific journal C dating of individual pieces of olive wood enveloped by volcanic ash is too unreliable for precise dating.

There follows a response from the authors of that dating, and comments from other specialists, with a closing reply from Cherubini and his team.After investigating tree rings, a team of scientists led by the WSL has concluded that the volcano erupted in the 16th century BC, rather than any earlier than that.A number of research studies since the 1980s have indicated that the Greek island of Santorini's volcano may have erupted not in the 16th century BC as traditionally thought but possibly in the century before that.When the volcano on Santorini exploded around 3700 years ago, the eruption began with a heavy rain of hot pumice falling out from the eruption column that reached about 40 km height.The pumice fall-out from the first phase of the eruption blanketed the whole of the island, the surrounding sea and islands to the east of Santorini.