The history of Thera (Santorini) is linked to the history of the volcano.
Before the volcanic activity, the island was named Strongyli (Circular),
due to its shape. But, around 1450 b.C., happened the first eruption of
the volcano and changed - not only the future of the island - but the
history of the ancient known world. The tidal wave that the eruption caused
was of 100 meters high and stroke to the north coast of Crete, causing
thus the end of the Minoan Civilisation, destroying everything. The destruction
of the Palace of Knossos for instance is well testified.
EXCAVATIONS IN AKROTIRI
The epilog of the destruction was written by the earthquakes and then
the volcanic ash, which covered Crete. The result of the seismic activity
for Thera was the precipitation and sinking in the sea of a big part of
the island, of which was left almost only the part we see nowadays. Afterwards,
the land of the island was covered with a thick layer - 30 - 40 m. - of
volcanic ash. The following until the 3rd century b.C volcanic eruptions
detached another part, which is Therassia. Around the 2nd - 1st century
b.C. begun to emerge the volcanic islets Palaea and Nea Kammeni and in
1956 another earthquake ruined most of the houses of Santorini. But, nothing
succeeded to stop life on this island. The name «Santorini»
has its origin at the church of Ayia Eirini (Santa Irene in the Venetian
age). The name of the capital (Fira) is the corruption of the name of
the island - Thera.