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Ancient ashes reveal details of huge volcano

By Philip Andrew Churm
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Ancient ashes discovered by archaeologists in Turkey reveal details of a huge volcanic eruption 3,600 years ago


Archaeologists have discovered ashes from one of the biggest ever volcanic eruptions in recorded history.

Excavations in Turkey’s ancient city of Smyrna, now located in Izmir, have revealed details from a Minoan eruption that took place some 3,600 years ago.

Smyrna was established about 5,000 years ago by the Greek tribe of Aeolians and later inhabited by Ionians.

It was mostly abandoned after it was captured by the Anatolian kingdom of Lydia in the 6th century B.C.

Archaeologists say the ashes will tell them a lot about the history.

“Now that we have identified those ashes with a more extensive work here, we are making an historical record of them,” said Professor Cumhur Tanrıver, head of the Smyrna excavation team.

“This work will provide an insight for the archaeological community. We will know the history of this eruption and how these eruptions, which affected the fate of the whole Mediterranean, caused the changes in Smyrna.”

Smyrna was an important port city and trade outpost on the coast of the Aegean Sea.

An excavation in the old city of Smyrna was launched in 2007 and has uncovered various important findings since then, the latest being these ashes.

About 100 people, including academics and experts from Turkey and abroad, are taking part in the Smyrna excavation.

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