Mount Etna first began erupting approximately 500,000 years ago. More recent eruptions have left calderas, craters and ash deposits. For instance, the Ellittico Caldera is only 14,000 to 15,000 years old. Eruptions throughout the 20th century created lava flows and collapsed crater rims, which continue to shape Mount Etna's geography.
Mount Etna has some of the oldest recorded volcanic activity. The first recorded observations of eruptions at Mount Etna date from 1500 BCE. Radiocarbon dating has confirmed earlier eruptions. It is also a currently active volcano. The most recent eruption began on Sept. 3, 2013 and ended on Feb. 27, 2014.