Archive for the ‘Nea Kameni’ Category

Nea Kameni

September 22, 2009

Nea Kameni is a small uninhabited Greek island of volcanic origin located within the flooded caldera of Santorini. Nea Kameni (New Burnt) and the neighbouring small island Palea Kameni (Old Burnt) have been formed over the past two millennia by repeated eruptions of dacite lava and ash. Major eruptions over the past 300 years took place in 1707-1712, 1866-1870, 1925-1928, and 1939-1941. The last small eruption happened in 1950, and involved lava dome extrusion.

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Nea Kameni is nearly round and has a diameter of approximately 2 kilometers and an area of 3.4 square km. Nea Kameni is monitored closely by scientists from the Institute for the Study and Monitoring of the Santorini Volcano (ISMOSAV), and is a protected scientific site.

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The nearly barren island is visited daily by dozens of tourist boats throughout the summer. The visitors take a well maintained gravel path to the 130-meter-high volcanic crater, from which wisps of a sulfurous steam rise, transforming the environment in places into a wasteland.

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Recent archaeological findings, along with connected factual findings on the Island of Crete, have led some to propose that the island of Santorini may be the fabled Lost City of Atlantis. As described by Plato in his writing, an advanced trading civilization lived on this island. The area that now surrounds this island as water was once all land.

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The civilization was literally destroyed overnight. Archaeological findings indicate that this culture had trade with the Egyptians, mainland Europe, and the Middle East. They had running water in individual homes, complete with baths and rudimentary but functional toilets, a full thousand years before Romans.

The island is arid but there is a carpet of red grassy succulents on the thin soil in summer.