Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea is located between Greece and Turkey. Its name comes from the Greek roots "Αιγαίο Πέλαγος" and Turkish "Ege Denizi". Its boundaries as well as its surface is a bit difficult to define, but it is considered to be bordered to the south by an arch located from west to east and passing through the islands of Cythera, Antikythera, Kasos, Karpathian and Rhodes. Approximately it has a surface of 215.000 km2. The Aegean Sea is connected by the Dardanelles Strait, the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus to the Black Sea, while Crete Island can be found where its southern boundary is marked. Cradle of two of the great early civilizations, Crete and Greece, from which much of modern western culture is derived. The Aegean Sea is also an important natural area of the Mediterranean region, which possesses several unique characteristics that make it scientifically interesting.

What is the Aegean Sea?

The Aegean Sea is an ocean located between Greece and Turkey. It was the cradle of great civilizations such as Greta and Greece, from which the largest and most important modern western culture is derived.

Location of the Aegean Sea

The Aegean Sea is considered an arm of Mediterranean Sea. It is located between the Greek peninsula in the west, and Asia Minor in the east. It is approximately 612 kilometers long and 299 kilometers wide and has a total area of about 83,000 square miles (215,000 square kilometers).


The Aegean Sea occupies a very important place in many of the most famous Greek myths of which we have knowledge, such as Theseus and the Minotaur, Jason and the Argonauts and the Odyssey, among others. The “Aegean Sea civilization” is a general term used to describe the different civilizations that existed during the Bronze Age and that developed between Greece and the Aegean Sea basin between 3000-1200 B.C. While ancient Greek writers told hero stories, there was very little information about Aegean civilization until the end of the 19th century.

In ancient times, the ocean was the birthplace of two ancient civilizations: the Minoans of Crete and the Mycenaean civilization of the Peloponnese. Then, state cities of Athens and Sparta arose, among many others that constituted the Athenian Empire and the Hellenic Civilization. In other words, there were three different regions covered by the name, Aegean Civilization: Crete, the Cyclades and the Greek continent. The Aegean region was later invaded by the Persians and Romans, and was inhabited by the Byzantine Empire, Venetians, Seljucid Turks and Ottoman Empire. Aegean was the place where the original democracies originated, and its shipping lanes were the medium of contact between several Eastern Mediterranean civilizations.



The first Greek residents known as the Mycenae, depended largely on the Aegean Sea for their commercial activities and, apparently, they managed to travel through it to Spain and Egypt. Commercial maritime trade became their main source of income and, over time, they colonized various islands of the Aegean archipelago and produced various items such as figs, grapes, wine, raisins, honey, wheat, various vegetables and some herbs. One of the main export products was marble. This product was most used to achieve enrich the merchants of ancient Greece.


Tensions between Greece and Turkey over the state of a number of Greek islands and islets in the Aegean Sea are steadily increasing, after several statements made by the Turkish political organization. Turkish President, Tayyip Recep Erdogan, during one of his speeches, raised the question of a possible revision of the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, which had resolved the status quo of several islands in the Aegean Sea by designating them under Greek control.

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Aegean Sea. Recovered on 24 February, 2024, de Euston96:

Recommended for you