Sunday, April 15, 2012

Akrotiri: Gem of Santorini

The archaeological site of Akrotiri on the island of Santorini has recently reopened after a period of 7 years. Ancient Akrotiri was one of the most prominent prehistoric settlements in the Aegean situated in the south coast of the island. The first recorded habitation dates back to the Late Neolithic period but it was during the Early Bronze Age that a substantial settlement was founded -which eventually became one of the main urban hubs of the Aegean. The settlement is huge -approximately 20 hectares- and the state-of-art drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storied buildings with the splendid wall frescoes typical of Minoan art, along with imported furniture and pots, attest to a flourishing and prosperous civilization with an extensive network of external trade relations.
In the last quarter of the 17th century BC residents were forced to evacuate the settlement due to a major earthquake, which caused the Santorini volcano to erupt. Volcanic lava covered the entire island and the Akrotiri town, preserving to perfection buildings, vessels, artifacts, hence the rightful nickname "Minoan Pompeii."
Due to volcanic ash, everything is so well preserved that contemporary visitors still feel that a Santorinian beauty might walk out of the House of Ladies for a morning stroll in the main street, before heading to the triangular piazza and admire the view of her home town!

Source: Greek News Agenda

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