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Could Trade Have Continue Unabated?


Most of the arguments against volcanic activity as a cause in the disruption of trade in the Aegean, and the precursor to the downfall of the Minoan society revolve around the dating and perceived severity of the eruption and it's aftermath.
santorini-volcano-erruption.jpg
http://www.explorecrete.com/archaeology/minoan-civilization-destruction.html

John Antonopoulos provides the following potential time frames for the event based on a variety of dating methods:
  • Carbon-14, two dates were obtained 1090 BC +/- 150 years, and 1410 BC =/- 100 years ~ Galanopoulos 1957
    (the first date was discounted due to possible humic acid contamination)
  • Dendrochronological analysis of a small tree found at the Phira Quarry suggest a date range of 1603-1516 BC for the first pumice fall. (Dendonchronology is considered extremely precise, and is often used as a backup method to radiocarbon dating)

However S.W. Manning of the Thera Foundation concludes that:
  • "The existing balance of probabilities must be held to support a later 17th century BC date for the eruption of Thera. In turn, the LM IA period must be placed in the 17th century BC, and a New 'high' Aegean Late Bronze Age chronology is both necessary and plausible"
Two research paper published in 2006 also contributed to the controversy when initial findings supporting an eruption date between 1627 and 1600 BC which first agreed with, then conflicted with, ice core samples from Greenland that date to 1644 BC +/- 20 years. Initial analysis of the cores suggested that the ash was from the Thera eruption, then secondary analysis suggested the ash may have been from Aniakchak, an Alaskan volcano.

The second most common argument against the belief that the eruption of Thera disrupted trade and contributed to the fall of the Minoan society is that there is archaeological evidence at Knossos reflecting Minoan culture from as few as 50, up to 200 years, past the volcanic eruption (depending on the chronology used.) Minoan remains have been recovered from above the late Minoan I layer of ash from the eruption and supporters of this theory place their significance much higher than do detractors.

Evidence pointing to outside conquest by the Mycenaeans include formalized styles of pottery that bear a striking similarity to those on mainland Greece, Linear B tablets which reflect a mainland Greek influence, and destruction which includes evidence of fire found in debris layers at the time of Mycenaean occupation of Crete.

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