A snapshot of bronze age life in the Aegean
One of the most important and intriguing archaeological sites in Greece, Akrotiri is a remarkably well preserved Bronze Age town, submerged under a blanket of volcanic ash three and a half thousand years ago
An outpost of the Minoan empire, which held sway over the southern Aegean during the Bronze Age, Akrotiri was a thriving and surprisingly advanced town near the southern coast of Santorini. It was destroyed sometime around 1500 BC, when a massive volcanic eruption tore a hole in the centre of the island, burying the town under ash and sending a devastating tsunami towards Crete.
Archaeologists began excavating the site in the 1960s, uncovering a surprisingly sophisticated layout of two-storey houses adorned with colourful frescoes, paved streets and an intricate drainage system.
Today the excavation of the Prehistoric Town of Akrotiri are open to the public and offer a fascinating insight into the daily life and culture of ancient Greece.
The Theran Eruption of the mid second millennium BC was one of the biggest ever recorded, devastating the Minoan civilization and reported as far away as China.
Akrotiri was covered in ash and effectively frozen in time, much like Pompeii in Italy. What archaeologists discovered was a vibrant and properous community, which was an important centre of the copper trade during the Bronze Age.
Remarkable frescoes were recovered, depicting scenes of animals and seascapes, abstract decorations, flowers and human figures, including images of young boys boxing and a fisherman holding his catch fresh from the Mediterranean. These are now on display in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, while more artefacts can be seen locally, at the museum in Santorini's capital, Fira.
If you are planning to visit the Cyclades on your private yacht charter vacation in Greece, make sure you step ashore in Santorini and explore the town which many regard as the inspiration for Plato's Atlantis. You can view and compare all luxury yachts for crewed charter in the East Mediterranean to take the first step towards planning your dream vacation which includes seeing the sight of Akrotiri.
Prehistoric Town of Akrotiri