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books about Santorini  (volcanism,  geology, Atlantis, architecture) 2. books about volcanism in general

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The following is a list of recommended reading on Santorini (and not only) that focusses on geology, volcanism,  archaeology and the myth of Atlantis. It represents only a very limited part of the shier infinite number of all books and should be taken as personal suggestion. I'll update it from time to time and am thankful for new suggestions or reviews !   


books about Santorini  (volcanism,  geology, Atlantis, architecture) 2. books about volcanism in general

1. ../photos/books/books about Santorini
  -   Fire in the Sea. Volcanism and the Natural History of Santorini. (2000)
  -   Santorini Volcano (1999)
  -   Santorini and its Eruptions. Fouqué (1999)
  -   The European laboratory volcanoes 
  -   Thera in the Bronze Age. P. Y. Forsyth (1997)
  -   Thera: Pompeii of the ancient Aegean (1983)
  -   The End of Atlantis - New light on an Old Legend J. V. Luce (1969)
  -   Atlantis. The truth behind the legend (1969)
  -   Voyage to Atlantis. J.  W. Mavor (1996)
  -   Greek traditional architecture: Santorini Dimitri Philippides, 
Melissa Publishing Group
  -   A Geological Companion to Greece and the Aegean: M. and R. Higgins

Available NOW 

- Fire in the Sea : Volcanism and the Natural History of Santorini
by Walter L. Friedrich
Hardcover (April 2000)
Cambridge Univ Pr (Short); ISBN: 0521652901


NEW !!

The updated and revised version of the German original title "Feuer im Meer"

An excellent and complete source of information on Santorini. Both for interested lay-men and students and researchers on Santorini. 
Personally written, it contains many excellent color illustrations, pictures and historic sources. Translated by the famous volcanologist A. McBirney. 

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The most comprehensive scientific reference book on stratigraphy, geochemical and geological data on Santorini volcano. 

Contains a new colored geologic map of Santorini.  

- Santorini Volcano (Geological Society Special Memoir, 19)
Volcanism and the Natural History of Santorini

by T. H. Druitt & M. S. Davies (Universite Blaise Pascal, France), L. Edwards & R. S. J. Sparks (University of Bristol, UK), R. M. Mellors & D. M. Pyle (University of Cambridge, UK), M. Lanphere (US Geological Survey, USA) and B. Barreirio (British Geological Survey, UK)

Hardcover (October 1999)
Geological Society Pub House; ISBN: 1862390487


NEW !!

Santorini has been the focus of significant scientific and scholastic interest because of the great Bronze Age explosive eruption that buried the Minoan town of Akrotiti. Santorini is still active. It has been dormant since 1950, but there have been several substantial historic eruptions. Because of this potential risk to life, both for the indigenous population and for the large number of tourists who visit it, Santorini has been designated one of five European Laboratory Volcanoes by the European Commission.Santorini has long fascinated geologists, with some important early work on volcanoes being conducted there. Since 1980, research groups at Cambridge University, and later at the University of Bristol and Blaise Pascal University in Clermont-Ferand, have collected a large amount of data on the stratigraphy, geochemistry, geochronology and petrology of the volcanics. The volcanic field has been remapped at a scale of 1:20 000. A remarkable picture of cyclic volcanic activity and magmatic evolution has emerged from this work. Much of this work has remained unpublished until now

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- Santorini and its Eruptions (Foundations of Natural History)
by Ferdinand A. Fouque, Alexander R. McBirney (Translator)
Hardcover - 857 pages ../photos/books/book&Map edition (March 1999)
Johns Hopkins Univ Pr; ISBN: 0801856140 ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.87 x 9.82 x 7.32


Ferdinand André Fouqué, like his student and son-in-law Alfred Lacroix, is among the most glorious names of early volcanologists. His great work included some of the first in modern terms scientific studies on volcanoes as Santorini, Etna and the Azores, and contributed a lot to the development of modern volcanology. 

The monograph "Santorin et ses Eruptions" was first published in 1879 as the result of years of intense geologic, but also archaeologic research. During the late '60s and 70's large amounts of pumice were quarried on Santorini and shipped to Egypt for the construction of the Suez channel. This activity brought to light the first remains of prehistoric settlements and Fouqué was lucky to be among the first who were interested in these structures. During several years he also conducted excavations at own expenses. His notes, drawings and accurate descriptions of what by now has almost completely been forgotten or destroyed by later careless quarrying and building activity are therefore of immense value for archaeologists. 

Santorin et ses Eruptions has been regarded as a standard reference for Santorini's geology and archaeology. Even now, is still among the most thorough and detailed studies concerning volcanism of Santorini. Most interesting are historical accounts of the formation of the Kameni islands, an awsomly detailed description of the 1866 eruption of Nea Kameni and a long chapter on the early archaeological founds of prehistoric settlements.

The English translation by Alexander McBirney fills a real and valuable hole of the volcanic literature.  Beyond being a simple translation it contains many critical remarks, an up-to-date summary table of the cronology of volcanism of Santorini, and a reference list that includes some titles of interesting early geologic and archaeologic studies- not only on Santorini- which hopefully will keep them from getting lost.- 

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The European laboratory volcanoes: Proceedings of the second workshop, Santorini, Greece, 2 to 4 May 1996
by R., Fytikas, M., Sigvaldasson, G. et al. Casale
Library Binding - 650 pages 0 edition (June 8, 1998)
Official Publications of the European Communities; ISBN: 9282803791
Availability: This title usually ships within 4-6 weeks. 


For scientific interest. The volume presents the results of the European laboratory volcanoes project: Santorini (24 articles), Etna (10 articles), Piton de la Fournaise (9 articles). Furnas (5 articles), Teide (6 articles).

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- Thera in the Bronze Age
Phyllis Young Forsyth
Gebundene Ausgabe (Dezember 1997)
Peter Lang Pub; ISBN: 0820437883
A well written introductive reading to Santorini's archaeology with some up-to-date information about its geology. Confronts different models of pre-Minoan Thera. 

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Ein Klassiker !

- Thera : Pompeii of the ancient Aegean
Christos Doumas
hardcover (1983)
168 pages, 123 ill. - 15 in colour 
Thames and Hudson  

Prof. Doumas, director of the excavations of Akrotiri publishes the result of 15 years of excavation at the site.  For all who are interested in prehistoric archaeology of Thera, this is the ../photos/books/book to start with !

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Is the Minoan eruption of Santorini related to the legend of Atlantis ? 

- The End of Atlantis - New light on an Old Legend
J. V. Luce
Hardcover (1969) 
Thames and Hudson

J.V. Luce has for many years made a close study of the Classical sources relating to the Atlantis legend- in particular of Plato, the originator of the story. 
In this ../photos/books/book he suggests that the core of the legend is a historic fact: the volcanic desaster on Santorini that in turn caused the destruction of Crete by floods as first proposed by Marinatos in 1950. His work is critical and tries to concentrate on archaeological and geological facts and on the available sources. The ../photos/books/book is furthermore valuable because of its many photographs and illustrations as well as an detailed appendix. 

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TIP*** - Atlantis. The Truth Behind the Legend
A. G. Galanopoulos, E. Bacon
Nelson (London), 1969

Galanopoulos and Bacon take Plato's reports on Atlantis as historic facts and present a model of pre-Minoan Thera that is postulated to be the metropolis of Atlantis. Even if some of the details at the present state of knowledge seem exaggerated or have to be modyfied the comparision of Santorini and Atlantis becomes estonishing. The authors succeed in bringing geologic evidence into agreement with the ancient report and find arguments that reject other Atlantis theories.

A must for whoever interested in serious interpretations of the Atlantis legend.  

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- Voyage to Atlantis. 
James W. Mavor
paperback (June 1996)
Park Street Press; ISBN: 0892816341


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- Greek traditional architecture: Santorini
Dimitri Philippides, 
Melissa Publishing Group,
40 pages, 59 drawings and color plates

This work helps the reader understand the traditional architecture of Santorini which has been studied by many scholars, Greek and foreign, including the famous French architect Le Corbusier. The existence of the volcano and the peculiarity of the island with its mysterious atmosphere have contributed to the development of a local architecture, based on the vault, quite distinct from the familiar architecture of the Aegean.

The ../photos/books/book is available at the  Megaron Ghizi cultral centre at Fira, Santorini.

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This book is a popular account of the geology of Greece and the Aegean coast of Turkey. It gives a general introduction to the subject and the geological history of the region, but most of the book is devoted to the geology of individual sites, mostly of cultural interest. The book is aimed at people without a formal training in geology, such as interested travellers and both amateur and professional archaeologists.

More information on M Higgins' website:

Chapter contents
Sample chapter -- Geology of Athens

A Geological Companion to Greece and the Aegean

Michael and Reynold Higgins

Available in the USA and Canada from Cornell University Press, PO Box 250, 512 East State Street, Ithaca, NY 14851 
Tel (800) 666-2211 Fax: (800) 688-2877 Price $55US

and in UK, Europe and the rest of the world from Duckworth Publishers, 61 Frith Street, London, W1V 5TA, UK 
Tel (44) 171 434 4242 Fax: (44) 171 287 8092 Price £40

You can also order over the Internet from
Amazon Books 

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2. books about volcanoes/ volcanism  

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last updated 16 April, 2002