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Akrotiri Town Excavations

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Cyclades Islands, Greece.

  • Photo of Akrotiri Town Excavations
  • Photo of Akrotiri Town Excavations
Photo of Akrotiri Town Excavations
Photo by flickr user goforchris
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The ‘Minoan Pompeii’, Akrotiri suffered the same fate, buried under volcanic ash after Santorini’s volcano experienced a particularly dramatic eruption around 1450 BC. Amongst the impressive frescos and architecturally advanced three storey dwellings discoveries have been made of pots and tools and items reflecting the town’s wealth as a centre of trade and architecture, but no human remains so unlike the residents of Pompeii, those of Akrotiri must have had sufficient warning about the fate of their town.

The most significant discoveries must be the well preserved frescos, many of which are now, disappointingly, on display at the Archaeological Museum in Athens, with only small cards outside each of the houses where the frescos were removed from.

Visitors to the site enter along the town’s main street which culminates in a triangular ‘square’. Only a small section of the site has been unearthed, guides estimate one thirtieth, but it is still a fascinating look at the highly developed culture of the period. The main excavator of the site, Professor Marinatos was buried on the site, you may see a floral tribute, after he was killed in an accident on site.

Written by  Howard Amble.

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Akrotiri Town Excavations

The excavations began at Akrotiri in 1967 revealed a Minoan Pompeii, a well preserved settlement of the Bronze Age (about 1500BC) destroyed in a volcanic eruption. Houses with virtually intact walls up to eight metres high and well preserved frescos similar to those of Crete along with pottery, furniture and the remnants of food have been found, but no skeletons, suggesting that people fled the city before the eruption.

Unfortunately the canopy covering the dig site collapsed in 2005 so there is limited access, but there is a bridge over the site allowing viewing. Some of the frescos have also been removed and placed in museums. Excavations on the site are ongoing.

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