Aegean Sea: Wikis

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The Aegean Sea (Greek: Αιγαίο Πέλαγος, Egeo Pelagos /eˈʝeo ˈpelaɣos/  ( listen); Turkish: Ege Denizi) is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the southern Balkan and Anatolian peninsulas, i.e., between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey respectively. In the north, it is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus. The Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The Aegean Region consists of nine provinces in southwestern Turkey, in part bordering on the Aegean sea.

The sea was traditionally known as Archipelago (in Greek, Αρχιπέλαγος), the general sense of which has since changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and, generally, to any island group because the Aegean Sea is remarkable for its large number of islands.

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Geography

The Aegean Sea covers about 214,000 square kilometres (83,000 sq mi) in area, and measures about 610 kilometres (380 mi) longitudinally and 300 kilometres (190 mi) latitudinally. The sea's maximum depth is 3,543 metres (11,624 ft), east of Crete. The Aegean Islands are found within its waters, with the following islands delimiting the sea on the south (generally from west to east): Kythera, Antikythera, Crete, Kasos, Karpathos and Rhodes.

The Greek Aegean Islands can be simply divided into seven groups:

  1. Northeastern Aegean Islands,
  2. Euboea,
  3. Northern Sporades,
  4. Cyclades,
  5. Saronic Islands (or Argo-Saronic Islands),
  6. Dodecanese (or Southern Sporades),
  7. Crete.

The word archipelago was originally applied specifically to the Aegean Sea and its islands. Many of the Aegean Islands, or chains of islands, are actually extensions of the mountains on the mainland. One chain extends across the sea to Chios, another extends across Euboea to Samos, and a third extends across the Peloponnese and Crete to Rhodes, dividing the Aegean from the Mediterranean.

The bays and gulfs of the Aegean beginning and the South and moving clockwise include on Crete, the Mirabelli, Almyros, Souda and Chania bays or gulfs, on the mainland the Myrtoan Sea to the west, the Saronic Gulf northwestward, the Petalies Gulf which connects with the South Euboic Sea, the Pagasetic Gulf which connects with the North Euboic Sea, the Thermian Gulf northwestward, the Chalkidiki Peninsula including the Cassandra and the Singitic Gulfs, northward the Strymonian Gulf and the Gulf of Kavala and the rest are in Turkey; Saros Gulf, Edremit Gulf, Dikili Gulf, Çandarlı Gulf, İzmir Gulf, Kuşadası Gulf, Gulf of Gökova, Güllük Gulf.

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Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Aegean Sea as follows:[1]

On the South. A line running from Cape Aspro (28°16'E) in Asia Minor, to Cum Burnù (Capo della Sabbia) the Northeast extreme of the Island of Rhodes, through the island to Cape Prasonisi, the Southwest point thereof, on to Vrontos Point (35°33'N) in Skarpanto [Karpathos, through this island to Castello Point, the South extreme thereof, across to Cape Plaka (East extremity of Crete), through Crete to Agria Grabusa, the Northwest extreme thereof, thence to Cape Apolitares in Antikithera Island, through the island to Psira Rock (off the Northwest point) and across to Cape Trakhili in Kithera Island, through Kithera to the Northwest point (Cape Karavugia) and thence to Cape Santa Maria (36°28′N 22°57′E / 36.467°N 22.95°E / 36.467; 22.95) in the Morea.

In the Dardanelles. A line joining Kum Kale (26°11'E) and Cape Helles.

Hydrography

The cliffs in Santorini Island, Greece

Aegean surface water circulates in a counter-clockwise gyre, with hypersaline Mediterranean water moving northward along the west coast of Turkey, before being displaced by less dense Black Sea outflow. The dense Mediterranean water sinks below the Black Sea inflow to a depth of 23–30 metres (75–98 ft), then flows through the Dardanelles Strait and into the Marmara at velocities of 5–15 cm/s. The Black Sea outflow moves westward along the northern Aegean Sea, then flows southwards along the east coast of Greece[2].

The physical oceanography of the Aegean Sea is controlled mainly by the regional climate, the fresh water discharge from major rivers draining southeastern Europe, and the seasonal variations in the Black Sea surface water outflow through the Dardanelles Strait.

Analysis[3] of the Aegean during 1991 and 1992 revealed 3 distinct water masses:

  • Aegean Sea Surface Water – 40–50 metres (130–160 ft) thick veneer, with summer temperatures of 21–26 °C and winter temperatures ranging from 10 °C (50 °F) in the north to 16 °C (61 °F) in the south.
  • Aegean Sea Intermediate Water – Aegean Sea Intermediate Water extends from 40–50 m to 200–300 metres (660–980 ft) with temperatures ranging from 11–18 °C.
  • Aegean Sea Bottom Water – occurring at depths below 500–1000 m with a very uniform temperature (13–14 °C) and salinity (39.1–39.2%).

Etymology

In ancient times there were various explanations for the name Aegean. It was said to have been named after the Greek town of Aegae, or after Aegea, a queen of the Amazons who died in the sea, or Aigaion, the "sea goat", another name of Briareus, one of the archaic Hecatonchires, or, especially among the Athenians, Aegeus, the father of Theseus, who drowned himself in the sea when he thought his son had died.

A possible etymology is a derivation from the Greek word αἶγεςaiges = "waves" (Hesychius of Alexandria; metaphorical use of αἴξ (aix) "goat"), hence "wavy sea", cf. also αἰγιαλός (aigialos) "coast".

History

Historic map of Aegean Sea by Piri Reis

The current coastline dates back to about 4000 BC. Before that time, at the peak of the last ice age (c. 16,000 BC) sea levels everywhere were 130 metres lower, and there were large well-watered coastal plains instead of much of the northern Aegean. When they were first occupied, the present-day islands including Milos with its important obsidian production were probably still connected to the mainland. The present coastal arrangement appeared c. 7000 BC, with post-ice age sea levels continuing to rise for another 3000 years after that.[4]

The subsequent Bronze Age civilizations of Greece and the Aegean Sea have given rise to the general term Aegean civilization. In ancient times the sea was the birthplace of two ancient civilizations – the Minoans of Crete and the Mycenean Civilization of the Peloponnese.[5]

Aegeansea.jpg

Later arose the city-states of Athens and Sparta among many others that constituted the Athenian Empire and Hellenic Civilization. Plato described the Greeks living round the Aegean "like frogs around a pond".[6] The Aegean Sea was later invaded by the Persians and the Romans, and inhabited by the Byzantine Empire, the Venetians, the Seljuk Turks, and the Ottoman Empire. The Aegean was the site of the original democracies, and its seaways were the means of contact among several diverse civilizations of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Economics and politics

Many of the islands in the Aegean have safe harbours and bays. In ancient times, navigation through the sea was easier than traveling across the rough terrain of the Greek mainland (and to some extent the coastal areas of Anatolia). Many of the islands are volcanic, and marble and iron are mined on other islands. The larger islands have some fertile valleys and plains. Of the main islands in the Aegean Sea, two belong to TurkeyBozcaada (Tenedos) and Gökçeada (Imbros); the rest belong to Greece. Between the two countries, there are political disputes over several aspects of political control over the Aegean space, including the size of territorial waters, air control and the delimitation of economic rights to the continental shelf.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition". International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. http://www.iho-ohi.net/iho_pubs/standard/S-23/S23_1953.pdf. Retrieved 7 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Aksu, A. E., D. Yasar, et al. (1995). "LATE GLACIAL-HOLOCENE PALEOCLIMATIC AND PALEOCEANOGRAPHIC EVOLUTION OF THE AEGEAN SEA – MICROPALEONTOLOGICAL AND STABLE ISOTOPIC EVIDENCE." Marine Micropaleontology 25(1): 1–28.
  3. ^ Yagar, D., 1994. Late glacial-Holocene evolution of the Aegean Sea. Ph.D. Thesis, Inst. Mar. Sci. Technol., Dokuz Eyltil Univ., 329 pp. (Unpubl.)
  4. ^ Tjeerd H. van Andel and Judith C. Shackleton, Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic Coastlines of Greece and the Aegean, Journal of Field Archaeology, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Winter, 1982), pp. 445–454
  5. ^ Tracey Cullen, Aegean Prehistory: A Review (American Journal of Archaeology. Supplement, 1); Oliver Dickinson, The Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge World Archaeology).
  6. ^ The familiar phrase giving rise to the title Prehistorians Round the Pond: Reflections on Aegean Prehistory as a Discipline, by John F. Cherry, Despina Margomenou, and Lauren E. Talalay.

External links

Coordinates: 39°15′34″N 24°57′09″E / 39.25944°N 24.9525°E / 39.25944; 24.9525 (Aegean Sea)


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The Aegean Sea is a part of multiple region articles:

Greece

Turkey

This article is a disambiguation page. If you arrived here by following a link from another page you can help by correcting it, so that it points to the appropriate disambiguated page.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AEGEAN SEA, a part of the Mediterranean Sea, being the archipelago between Greece on the west and Asia Minor on the east, bounded N. by European Turkey, and connected by the Dardanelles with the Sea of Marmora, and so with the Black Sea. The name Archipelago (q.v.) was formerly applied specifically to this sea. The origin of the name Aegean is uncertain. Various derivations are given by the ancient grammarians - one from the town of Aegae; another from Aegea, a queen of the Amazons who perished in this sea; and a third from Aegeus, the father of Theseus, who, supposing his son dead, drowned himself in it. The following are the chief islands: - Thasos, in the extreme north, off the Macedonian coast; Samothrace, fronting the Gulf of Saros; Imbros and Lemnos, in prolongation of the peninsula of Gallipoli (Thracian Chersonese); Euboea, the largest of all, lying close along the east coast of Greece; the Northern Sporades, including Sciathos, Scopelos and Halonesos, running out from the southern extremity of the Thessalian coast, and Scyros, with its satellites, north-east of Euboea; Lesbos and Chios; Samos and Nikaria; Cos, with Calymnos to the north; all off Asia Minor, with the many other islands of the Sporades; and, finally, the great group of the Cyclades, of which the largest are Andros and Tenos, Naxos and Paros. Many of the Aegean islands, or chains of islands, are actually prolongations of promontories of the mainland. Two main chains extend right across the sea - the one through Scyros and Psara (between which shallow banks intervene) to Chios and the hammer-shaped promontory east of it; and the other running from the southeastern promontory of Euboea and continuing the axis of that island, in a southward curve through Andros, Tenos, Myconos, Nikaria and Samos. A third curve, from the south-easternmost promontory of the Peloponnese through Cerigo, Crete, Carpathos and Rhodes, marks off the outer deeps of the open Mediterranean from the shallow seas of the archipelago, but the Cretan Sea, in which depths occur over 1000 fathoms, intervenes, north of the line, between it and the Aegean proper. The Aegean itself is naturally divided by the island-chains and the ridges from which they rise into a series of basins or troughs, the deepest of which is that in the north, extending from the coast of Thessaly to the Gulf of Saros, and demarcated southward by the Northern Sporades, Lemnos, Imbros and the peninsula of Gallipoli. The greater part of this trough is over 600 fathoms deep. The profusion of islands and their usually bold elevation give beauty and picturesqueness to the sea, but its navigation is difficult and dangerous, notwithstanding the large number of safe and commodious gulfs and bays. Many of the islands are of volcanic formation; and a well-defined volcanic chain bounds the Cretan Sea on the north, including Milo and Kimolos, Santorin (Thera) and Therasia, and extends to Nisyros. Others, such as Paros, are mainly composed of marble, and iron ore occurs in some. The larger islands have some fertile and well-watered valleys and plains. The chief productions are wheat, wine, oil, mastic, figs, raisins, honey, wax, cotton and silk. The people are employed in fishing for coral and sponges, as well as for bream, mullet and other fish. The men are hardy, well built and handsome; and the women are noted for their beauty, the ancient Greek type being well preserved. The Cyclades and Northern Sporades, with Euboea and small islands under the Greek shore, belong to Greece; the other islands to Turkey.


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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Etymology

Via Latin Aegaeus, from Ancient Greek Αἰγαῖος (Aigaios).

Pronunciation

Proper noun

Singular
Aegean Sea

Plural
-

Aegean Sea

  1. A sea in the northeastern part of the Mediterranean.

Translations


Simple English

File:Aegean with
The Aegean Sea.

The Aegean Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea. It is between the Greece and Anatolia. It is connected (attached) to the Marmara Sea and the Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosporus.

Name

In ancient people thought differently about why it was named Aegean. Maybe it was named after the town of Aegae, or Aegea, a queen of the Amazons who died in the sea. Maybe it was named after Aegeus, the father of Theseus. Legends say that Aegeus killed himself in the sea when he thought his son was dead.

The Greek name for the sea is Αἰγαῖον Πέλαγος (Aigaion Pelagos, Modern Greek: Αιγαίο Πέλαγος (Aigaio Pelagos). The Turkish name is Ege Denizi. Some people think that the name came from the dialect (small language) word αἶγες (aiges) "waves" .

History

In ancient times two groups of people lived near the sea - the Minoans of Crete, and the Myceneans of the Peloponnese. The city-states of Athens and Sparta came later and were part of Ancient Greece. Persians, Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Venetians (people from Venice, the Seljuk Turks, and the Ottoman Empire later started around the Aegean Sea. The people near the Aegean were very advanced (powerful and clever) in Ancient history and they sailed across it to talk to each other.

There are seven groups of Aegean islands: the Thracian Sea group, the East Aegean group, the Northern Sporades, the Cyclades, the Saronic Islands (or Argo-Saronic Islands), the Dodecanese and Crete. The word archipelago used to mean these islands. Many of the Aegean islands, or chains of islands, are part of the mountain ranges on the mainland. One chain goes across the sea to Chios, another one goes across Euboea to Samos, and a third one goes across the Peloponnese and Crete to Rhodes. This one divides (splits, cuts) the Aegean from the Mediterranean. Many of the islands have safe harbours and bays, but sailing in the sea is difficult. Many of the islands are volcanos, and marble and iron are mined on other islands. The bigger islands have some green valleys and plains. Turkey owns two big islands on the Aegean Sea: Bozcaada (Greek: Τένεδος Tenedos) and Gökçeada (Greek: Ίμβρος Imvros).


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