10.0 Important information about the geology of Santorini is stored in the light-colored limestone blocks (stromatolites) that lie on the slopes of Megalo Vouno near the northern rim of the caldera. They were thrown out in the third phase of the Minoan eruption. Formed in shallow sea water of the flooded caldera around 12,000 years ago, the limestone contains fossils of marine animals that prove that a caldera existed prior to the Minoan eruption in 1640 BC.

An Idea takes Hold

Recent geological and archaeological discoveries enable us to reconstruct the island as it was before the eruption. Rocks and minerals from the excavations offer insights into the geological relations of the original volcanic island, and we can learn much about techniques used in constructing buildings and making pottery. We are also able - in some cases - to reconstruct the trade routes used at that time.

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