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Aphrodite of Milos  


Milos emerged from the depths of the sea. Perhaps, indeed the myth of the birth of Aphrodite from the “foam of the waves” is but a symbolism of the birth of the beautiful Greek islands from the entrails of the earth.
Thousands of millions of years ago, after the big explosion (Big Bang) a super-continent was created, the Pangea. Europe, Asia and America were then linked; the Mediterranean did not exist. The ancient sea of Tethis extended from the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, covering all of present Central America, the Atlantic, all of southern Europe and Northern Africa.

Sarakiniko, a volcanic ash formation

Sarakiniko, a volcanic ash formation

Millions of years later, the continuity of Tethys was disrupted with the collision and plowing of the continents. The Atlantic Ocean was then formed and the Mediterranean basin was created as a result of the convergence of Europe with Africa at Hercules’ Columns (Gibraltar strait). The Mediterranean was then an area of extensive valleys and saline lakes.
Communication with the Atlantic Ocean was only possible through the mountain ranges of Atlas and the Riff in Africa and from the valley of Gouadalkivir in Europe.
Tectonic agitations have continued for millions of more years. In the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegiis emerges from the depths of the sea, a concrete mass of land that extended from the Ionian Sea to Asia Minor and southern Crete.
Aegiis had a climate much hotter than today, forests of conifers and flowery plants, lakes with sweet water and in her plains lived Proboscidiforms and a variety of other mammals.

Glaronisia, a volcanic island

Periods of greenhouse involve continuous agitations and changes. After the melting of the glaciers the level of the Atlantic rises, the old straits of Atlas and Gouadalkivir converge, the strait of Gibraltar opens. The waters of the Atlantic pour into the Western Mediterranean. The geological relocations are continued in Aegiis: trenches, sinkings, elevations, and climatic fluctuations. The Mediterranean Sea starts flowing to the East covering the ditches between Kythira-Crete and Crete-Dodecanese.
Many Greek islands were still linked (ex. Milos with Kimolos and Polyaigos) forming a fertile valley between them. An underwater mountain range extended under these basins. The crests of their mountains later formed the islands of the Aegean, when after continuous tectonic activity of the initial Aegiis the mountains sank and were covered by the sea.

The Greek terra emerged from the sea depths roughly before 30 mil years ago and the islands of the Aegean are not but the crests of the mountains of the submerged Aegiis (orogeny).
Earthquakes and volcanoes contribute to the final formation. Important geo-tectonic changes take place in the Aegean as a result of the collision and plowing of the lithospheric plates. The African plate is moved and sunk under the Eurasean, creating big ditches that cause intense seismic and volcanic activity, which result to the creation of the Aegean trench.
Because of the collisions along the trench, enormous pressures and temperatures occur on the sea floor, witch result to the emergence of new magma on the surface via the rifts on the earth’s crust.

Lava blocks used in the city of Phylakopi

Thus the creation of the volcanic trench coincides with the creation of the volcanic arc of the Southern Aegean, 220 km long, that extends from the Corinthian gulf up to the island of Kos.
In the centre of this volcanic arc is the island of Milos that due to its volcanic origin is a source of innumerable minerals useful to humanity since the prehistoric period. Their exploitation actively continues till today and constitutes the foundation of the island economy.

The seismic-volcanic activity as well as the movement of the lithospheric plates continues up until today and it will keep continuing in order to fulfil the utterance of Heraclites that "Besides a continuous change that everything on the universe undergoes, the sole being that remains unaltered is the Creator".


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