Arm of the Mediterranean Sea, lying between Greece and Turkey. About 380 mi (610 km) long and 186 mi (300 km) wide, it has a total area of some 83,000 sq mi (214,000 sq km) and a maximum depth of 11,627 ft (3,543 m). The straits of the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosporus connect it with the Black Sea. The Aegean was the cradle of the great early civilizations of Crete and Greece. Thíra, one of its numerous islands, has been linked with the legend of Atlantis.