The first evidence of a prehistoric settlement in Akrotiri was discovered in the second half of the 19th century, when big quantities of pumice, needed by the Suez Canal Company, were quarried and transported to Egypt. After initial excavations by the French geologist and volcanologist Ferdinand André Fouqué and the French School of Archaeology in 1870, proper methodological research and excavations started in 1967, led by archaeology professor Spyros Marinatos. He was succeeded in 1975 by professor Christos Doumas.
Buried by the volcanic eruption, which occurred most likely about 1613 B.C., the Bronze Age town of Akrotiri remained uniquely well-preserved, thus providing archaeologists with an important amount of valuable information about the daily life of its inhabitants. The buildings were often two or even three storeys high, with workshops on the ground floor, a living space on the higher levels and a flat roof. Beautiful wall paintings were discovered in some of these buildings, which allow us a glimpse into the world of the Bronze Age, seen through the eyes of the people who lived back then in Santorini. Also the objects and utensils that were excavated provide insight in the daily life of the inhabitants of the Aegean, in their society, their occupations and trading as well as in their culture and religion.
Many of the findings that were discovered during the excavations of the archaeological site are nowadays exhibited in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. Furthermore, three-dimensional exact copies of the wall paintings in their original scale, produced in cooperation with the Thera Foundation, are exhibited in the Petros M. Nomikos Conference Centre in Fira.

The Archaeological Site of Akrotiri reopened its gates in April 2012, after remaining closed for almost seven years, due to the collapse of the previous and construction of a new roof. This unique prehistoric settlement is now open daily to the public, except Mondays, from 10.00 to 17.00.

Archaeological Site Akrotiri
84700 Santorini
Tel. +30 22860 81939 

Museum of Prehistoric Thera
Fira 84700
Tel. +30 22860 23217

Petros M. Nomikos Conference Centre
Fira 84700
Tel. #30 22860 23016-17

Thera Foundation
29, Vasilissis Sofias Avenue
10674 Athens
Tel. +30 210 72 41 516
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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