another Greek post, the penultimate, this post is a bit of continuation of the Caldera post, in 1967 excavations started, as they continue it is realised that the Ancient city of Akrotiri is much larger than first thought and they now believe they have only been working on a very small part of the whole city.

when the volcano erupted and created the Caldera it also covered the island of Santorini with ash, the entire island was covered and was not occupied again until about 1000BC, Akrotiri was completely buried like Pompeii, so the buildings and some artifacts have been preserved, no human remains or valuables have been uncovered so it is believed the people had warnings and time to leave the island.

I took quite a few photos when I visited the site and some of the information boards, I have picked out a few to share (I don’t want to bore you too much), the availble information is little, we had a very good guide but I find if I try to take notes I write bits and miss bits, so I rely on remembering the ‘gist’ of the information.

Akrotiri has been dated back to the Late Neolithic period, the eruption that covered it with ash was in the Late Bronze Age, it was a Minoan city of about 30,000 inhabitants, Minoan frescoes decorate the walls in some buildings, I saw some in the Museum of Pre-History in the capital Fira, but, sadly I couldn’t workout how to turn the flash off my camera so no photos (to say I was cross with myself is a gross understatement!!).

in this first photo, the guide had told us that the low walls to the left of my photo were exposed by water washing down from the hills after high rainfall, at the time excavations started they had no idea of what they were about to uncover,
as the ash filled inside and around these storage jars many are still intact,
this photo shows the hearth and the small stone basin sunk into the floor that is mentioned in my second photo,
where the ash had covered everything and settled, as excavation is carried out holes in the ash are where wood was at the time of the eruption, so they have filled the holes with plaster to create a cast of what was there, in this case bed frames, our guide told us that beds where found outside the houses indicating that there were earth tremors,
an overview across part of the present site,
the ash has not been excavated yet these are third floor rooms, apart from excavating the ash there is also the work (problem) of disposing of it,
the wall of a 3 story building after removing the ash, the solid looking columns are modern to replace the wood columns that have perished,
notes on what the above wall is part of,
the city was fully functioning, with water and sewage,francescaple.akrotiri12francescaple.akrotiri12a
part of the drainage system,
footnote: I have not given a century because as I said there is little information and nothing official, so my information for this and the Caldera post has come from guides and info found in tourist pamphlets, etc. I have found info on the eruption between 1400/1500BC now the info on the covering with ash is the 1600BC, so …loosely it’s between 1400BC and late 1600BC, approximately 3,500 years ago (more or less).

©Copyright 2013 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

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10 responses to “Akrotiri

  1. It’s an impressive city, with sewage systems and the like, given how long ago it was constructed. Fascinating.

  2. I love visiting sites like this, trying to imagine the lives of people so long ago and realising that it wasn’t so different from out lives now. Thanks for sharing you holiday.

    • me too Christina and I nearly missed it as it was an optional trip and I wasn’t going to go until I found out what it was we would be visiting, one of the things that amazes me is looking at things built/made by people that were living thousands of years ago, Frances

  3. How fascinating, must have been so exciting to work on the dig, discovering so much rich detail about lives lived so very many years ago.

    • the dig is still going on and will for many, many years, I think from what people involved said, was the slow realisation as to just ‘what’ they were uncovering, apparently in all the writings of the time that have survived there is no mention of a city on this island, Frances

  4. Really intriguing reading this, Frances, particularly after having recently been to Orkney with its plethora of historical sites and seeing how they compare

  5. So amazing to see this history preserved….I cannot wait to visit myself hopefully someday