The date of the volcanic eruption of Santorini that caused extensive damage toMinoan Crete has been controversial since the 1980s. Some have placed the event in the late seventeenth century BC. Others have made the case for a younger date of around 1500 BC. A recent contribution to that controversy has been the dating of an olive tree branch preserved within the volcanic ash fall on Santorini. In this debate feature Paolo Cherubini and colleagues argue that the olive tree dating (which supports the older chronology) is unreliable on a number of grounds. There follows a response from the authors of that dating, and comments from other specialists, with a closing reply from Cherubini and his team.