Akrotiri is the most prominent archaeological site in Santorini and one of the most important archaeological sites in the Aegean.
The findings of the excavations began in 1967 by Greek archeologist Spyridon Marinatos in order to prove his theory that the collapse of the Minoan civilisation was due to the massive volcanic eruption of Santorini. He went on until his death in 1974, when the archaeologist Christos Doumas took over and till today he continues his work with remarkable results.
The History of an Ancient Civilisation
Like the Roman ruins of Pompeii, the remains of the Minoan town of Akrotiri are remarkably well-preserved. The settlement was all but obliterated in the middle of the second millennium BC, when the volcano it sat upon, Thera, erupted, and its inhabitants fled. The volcanic matter enveloped the entire island of Santorini and the town itself, preserving the buildings and their contents, and visitors can still identify houses and pots.
Unlike Pompeii, no human remains have been found at Akrotiri, and only one gold object was found on the site, suggesting that the Minoans performed an orderly evacuation before the eruption, and they had time to take their valuables before they fled.
The Minoan civilisation existed on Crete and its surrounding Greek islands, and flourished from approximately 3600 BC to 1400 BC. The eruption of Thera has been credited with its demise; geologists have called it the most destructive natural event in recorded history. The town of Akrotiri was an outpost of Crete which dates back to the third millennium BC and gradually developed into one of the main ports and urban centres of the Aegean.
The archaeological site of Akrotiri, which lies on the southwestern tip of Santorini, gives visitors the opportunity to admire and walk through the sheltered settlement. Furthermore, significant finds from Akrotiri are exhibited in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera in Fira, such as pottery, jewellery, marble figurines, tools, utensils and impressive wall paintings. Some famous frescoes can also be admired in the National Archaeological Museum, in Athens. A visit to the museum but, more importantly, to the archaeological site of Akrotiri constitutes a unique experience and can transfer visitors to the distant past.
Did you know that?
A Bronze age settlement on the Greek island of Santorini might have been the inspiration for Plato’s Atlantis. In his dialogues Timaios and Kritias, Plato wrote of an island on which there was “a great and wonderful empire,” which was suddenly destroyed. “There occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth,” Plato wrote, “and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea.”
Akrotiri (Promontory) is located at the southwestern tip of the island, 15 km from Fira. It is a real promontory, with sheer cliff shores stretching three miles west of the southernmost part of Santorini.
You may ask our reception at Athina Luxury Suites for the tours and activities with visit of Excavations of Akrotiri.