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Authors: Manni, Marco* 
Coltelli, Mauro* 
Martinelli, Maria Clara* 
Title: Volcanic events that have marked the anthropic history of the Aeolian Islands
Issue Date: Sep-2018
Series/Report no.: /61 (2018)
DOI: 10.4401/ag-7716
Keywords: Eolian Islands, Volcanic Eruptions, prehistoric settlements, Historical Studies, Demographic Crises
Abstract: Archaeological and historical studies, conducted since 1950, allow us to trace a hypothetical demographic framework in which three crises extended over time, attributed by scholars to unfavourable social-economic situations or to war aggression, can be observed. A comparison of these three crises with the volcanological record reveals a correlation suggesting that the volcanic events had an effect on local anthropic history. The first crisis occurred in 4th millennium BC and involved all the Aeolian Islands, particularly Contrada Diana, the main Neolithic site of Lipari. The Diana Spatarella facies records: the reduction of the coastal settlement of Contrada Diana, the settling of Rocca del Castello, and the development of settlements in areas protected from volcanic activity. These observations support the hypothesis that Contrada Diana was exposed to the effects of tsunami waves created by the Sciara del Fuoco collapse on Stromboli, and indirectly to the eruptions of Gran Cratere of Vulcano that also caused problems for the sailors travelling between the mainland to Lipari. The second crisis occurred between 9th and 6th centuries BC and could be also be caused by the effects of the strong eruptive phase which occurred 2.9 ka at Vulcano and the tsunami produced by another sector collapse on Stromboli at the end of the Neostromboli. As during the first crisis, navigation between the mainland and Lipari would have been made difficult. The third crisis happened in the historical period between 6th and 11th centuries with a possible peak during the eruption of Monte Pilato which occurred in 776 AD in the NE sector of Lipari.
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