The most famous archaeological site in Santorini -and one of the most important archaeological sites in the Aegean, is Akrotiri and the findings of the excavations that began in 1967.
Akrotiri (Promontory) is located at the southwestern part 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.
After several years, the archaeological site re-opened for the visitors since April 2012, after the new roof was in place.
The big excavation
First signs of habitation in Akrotiri date back to the Late Neolithic Period (at least from the 4th millennium BC). By the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), there was a settlement in Akrotiri that was expanded in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (20th-17th centuries BC) becoming one of the main urban centres of the Aegean.
Covering about 50 acres, the settlement had a very well-planed infrastructure and an elaborate sewage system. Imported products found inside the buildings prove that Akrotiri was well developed, held strong ties with Minoan Crete and conducted business with the Greek mainland, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt.
The growth of the town ended abruptly at the end of the 17th century BC, when its inhabitants left due to powerful seismic foreshocks. Then, the volcano erupted, and volcanic material covered the town and the rest of the island, preserving the buildings and their contents to this day.
Professor Spyros Marinatos began systematic excavations in Akrotiri, in 1967. He had decided to excavate there in order to prove an old theory of his, i.e. that the eruption of the volcano caused the collapse of the Minoan civilization in Crete (see also Attractions-Volcano).
After Marinatos died, in 1974, excavations continued under the direction of professor Christos Doumas.
Take advantage of your staying here and visit the excavations to see a unique history monument!