During the prehistoric times, Akrotiri was considered as one of the most important urban centres in the Aegean Sea. It is estimated that the first settlements were developed since the Post Neolithic Period (at least since the 4th milennium B.C.). The settlement of Akrotiri existed since the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium B.C). During the Middle and Early Post Bronze Age (20th-17th century B.C.) this settlement was further developed and it became one of the most significant urban centres and ports of the Aegean Sea.
Its massive land (stretching over 200 acres), its exceptional urban planning, its drainage facilities, its multi-storey buildings with their exceptional wall paintings, their elegant furniture and household equipment add great value to its impressive urban development. A large number of imported products that were discovered inside these houses prove the wide angle of foreign affairs established in Akrotiri. It used to maintain close relations with Minoan Crete, but it was also in liaison with mainland Greece, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria and Egypt.
Life in the city ended abruptly at the last quarter of the 17th century B.C. when its inhabitants decided to desert the island due to the strong earthquakes. The volcano’s eruption followed this incident. The volcanic matter that covered the city and the whole island itself managed to protect and preserve the buildings, a fact that is similar to what happened in Pompieia.
After the second half of the 19th century, data about the fact that Thera’s Akrotiri was inhabited during the prehistoric period started being brought to light.
The systematic excavations in Akrotiri began in 1967 with the initiative of Professor Spyridonas Marinatos under the Archaeological Company of Athens. Prof. Marinatos decided to excavate Akrotiri hoping that he will be able to prove the theory he had published back in the 1930s, based on which Thera’s volcano caused the collapse of the Minoan Crete. After his death in 1974, this excavation continued under the supervision of professor Christos Ntoumas.
-You can find more information about the monuments and architectural structures http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/gh352.jsp?obj_id=2410 and in www.santorini.gr
You can admire these findings in the museum of Prehistoric Thera, in Fira. The archaeological site is now open to visitors, as the construction of the new bioclimatic cover roof has been completed.
Opening hours: 10.00-17.00
For more info call: +30 22860 81939 and the museum of Prehistoric Thera at:+30 22860 23217