The Getty Villa
Date: Saturday, February 6, 2010
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Past Event

Minoan tsunami deposits / Hadingham
 
Why, in the 15th century B.C., did the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut, stepmother and regent of pharaoh Tuthmose III, unexpectedly break with tradition and seize power early in Tuthmose's reign? Why did the Minoans appear suddenly at her coronation, and why did they request subordinate status by paying homage and begging for the "breath of life?" How did the Mycenaean Greeks overcome the Minoans at the height of their prosperity? A clue to these mysteries lies in understanding the greatest natural disaster to strike the ancient Mediterranean world.

Archaeologist Sandy MacGillivray shares scientific and archaeological evidence suggesting that the Minoan world was rocked by severe earthquakes, smothered with a layer of deadly volcanic ash, and then hit by one or more giant tsunamis. These catastrophes are all linked to the volcanic eruption of the island of Thera (present–day Santorini), located north of Crete.

MacGillivray links the Thera eruption to Hatshepsut's bold ascension. He suggests that the Cretans at the queens court were remnants of a beleaguered Minoan administration who were paying tribute to the new pharaoh and seeking vital aid to rebuild their world. But Egyptian support ended with her death, and a new power—the Mycenaeans—emerged to dominate the eastern Mediterranean.


About Sandy MacGillivray
Joseph Alexander "Sandy" MacGillivray is a classical archaeologist and a leading expert on Aegean archaeology. He has excavated extensively at Knossos, Palaikastro, and other Greek sites under the auspices of the British School of Archaeology at Athens, where he served several years as Knossos Curator and Assistant Director. He has published numerous books, monographs, and articles, including Minotaur: Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth. His research has also been presented in numerous television documentaries including "Sinking Atlantis," an episode of PBS's Secrets of the Dead series; Mega Disasters, the History Channel's documentary movie; and Atlantis, a BBC documentary.



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How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.