The Traces of the Volcanic Eruption of Thera/Santorini Island in the 2nd Millennium BCE in Çine-Tepecik Excavations

In the process of change related to the geological evolution of the Büyük Menderes River (Meander) and its surroundings, the Aegean Sea, which is further inland than today, makes understandable the location of Çine Stream (Marsyas), one of the tributaries of the Menderes, and its proximity to the coastline in the early periods.

Çine-Tepecik archaeological excavations shed light on the earliest settlements in this region until the Prehistoric and Protohistoric periods and provide an understanding of the socio-cultural development of societies. The excavations which are carried out under the direction of Prof. Sevinç Günel on behalf of Hacettepe University since 2004, with the decision of the Council of Ministers and the official permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism have yielded results that shed light on the cultural history of the settlement process dating back from 6500 BCE to 1100 BCE Çine-Tepecik. In the 2nd millennium BCE, it was a powerful settlement surrounded by defensive walls, within the borders of the Arzawa Land. The settlement bears traces of a natural disaster caused by volcanic ash that spread over a wide area and formed a thick layer. Analyzes of the ashes were carried out by Dr. Johannes Sterba, Vienna Technical University, Atomic Institute, within the scope of the BAP project. The analyses were carried out by Johannes Sterba and the results obtained from the volcanic ashes of Thera/Santorini Island dates back to approximately 1630 BCE. The fact that the ashes detected in previous years' excavations are followed during the 2023 excavations proves the intensity of natural interaction and, thanks to the sensitive excavations, ensures that Çine-Tepecik excavations take their place in the scientific world within the interdisciplinary research.