Latest news on the Akrotiri archaeological site on the Greek Island of Santorini...

The Akrotiri Archaeological Site of Thera, Santorini re-opened in April 2012 after a forced closure due to the collapse of the roof in 2005 which killed one British tourist and injured six other people. The site, a major tourist attraction for visitors to Santorini had been closed since the accident after continual delays to repair the damage.

The Akrotiri Archaeological Site is now open to the public from 10:00 to 17:00 Tuesday to Sunday. As with all Greek and Greek island archaeological sites and museums the Santorini site is closed on Mondays.

The new roof has a bioclimatic design, which means that it will take into account climate and environmental conditions to help achieve a comfortable environment for visitors to the site.

Rediscovered in 1967 the site and excavations were dubbed the Pompeii of the Aegean as the ancient Minoan city of Akrotiri was discovered buried under volcanic ash around 1500 BC. The excavations at Akrotiri uncovered one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. The first habitation at the site dates from the Late Neolithic times around the 4th millennium BC

The ancient city of Akrotiri was one of the chief metropolitan centres of the Aegean until its destruction by an enormous and devastating volcanic eruption to hit the ancient Cycladic island of Thera. Akrotiri had dealings with Crete but also communicated with the Greek Mainland, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria and Egypt.

Similar to Pompeii the Akrotiri archaeological site features the preserved and protected buildings and contents that were covered by volcanic ash. Fine Frescos, artworks and objects were rediscovered and were perfectly protected by the volcanic ash. No human remains were found as it was believed the inhabitants fled the island of Thera, now known as Santorini to escape the volcanic eruption. The excavations revealed houses, workshops and three storey buildings with advanced drainage systems. One main building had at least 28 rooms on two floors. It is believed that the community belonged to the Bronze Age Minoan Kingdom.

The ancient site is well worth a visit as the new roof and pathways make it easy to get a feel for what the city and the life of its inhabitants were like. The ruins are still being investigated by archaeologists working on different areas of the large site. Objects from the site are displayed in the Prehistoric Museum of Fira.

Top Tip

There is a small charge for entry to the archaeological site but you can get a combined ticket that also allows entry to the Prehistoric Museum of Fira, the Archaeological Museum in Fira and the ruined town of Ancient Thera. This works out at great value for money, saving considerably on individual entry prices.

Get there early in the morning to avoid the extreme midday sun of the peak months of July and August.


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