Culture and history info
Palia Kameni : The Eruption of 46-47 AD
Towards the end of the year 46 AD and the beginning of the year 47 AD the volcano reawakened. Huge quantities of molten rock (magma) spouted out of the sea two kilometers southwest of Lera, creating the islet of Palia Kameni. At that time the island had a circumference of 5,550 meters, as the Roman historian Aurelius Victor registers in his work Historia Romana. It gradually acquired its present shape through fragmentation by great cracks and faults and the collapse of its shoreline in many places.
Palia Kameni : The Eruption of 726 AD
During the next seven centuries the volcano remained dormant. It became active again in the year 726, this time extremely violently. Numerous explosive events spewed pumice and volcanic ash several kilometers into the air, sending it drifting across the Aegean and into Asia Minor. This eruption seriously disrupted the economic and social life of the Aegean, and was interpreted as an indication of the wrath of God caused by the Iconoclastic Controversy which was then lacerating the Byzantine Empire. Great quantities of volcanic tephra spewed out in this eruption can still be seen on Palea Kameni. The viscous magma which later filled the crater now appears as a black tongue of lava with a rough scoriaceous surface on the northeastern shore of Palea Kameni, forming the north side of the bay of Agios Nikolaos.
NEA KAMENI : THE VOLCANIC ERUPTION OF 1866
The eruption of Nea Kameni in the years 1866 to 1870 presented a spectacular display that was seen by numerous spectators. The fireworks were especially grandiose during the night. (From Illustretet Tindende 1866, Copenhagen).
The Appearance of Nea Kameni : 1707-1711
The eruptions of 1701 to 1711 inside the caldera were of great geological interest, because it was one of the rare cases in which a volcano was observed to emerge for the sea. During the eruptions of 1707-1711 Skaros Castle was still inhabited. From there one could observe the growth of the new island. On the 21st May in 1711, three days after a strong earthquake, a white island was seen rising to the west of Mikra Kameni. It continued to grow, and after a few days inhabitants of Santorini went and discovered black lava, pumice and marine life that was still living on it. The island grew slowly, reaching a width of 500 to 600 meters and a height of 70 to eighty meters. On the 5th of June fire was seen and a new black island appeared to the north. By September 12th the black island was so large that it united with the white one. By the time that activity ceased in September 1711, Santorini and Mikra Kameni sank by as much as a meter or more. The new island, Nea Kameni measured 910 meters long in the south, 1650 in the west and 1440 meters to the east. It had reached a height of 106 meters.
Mikra and Nea Kameni Unite : 1866-1870
The eruptions of 1866 to 1870 created the Georgios volcano and caused the smaller Mikra Kameni to joined be to the larger Nea Kameni.