Ships and Ferries to the island of Santorini in the Cyclades Travel Information for ferries to Santorini. Island of Santorini Cyclades.
SANTORINI > ARCHAEOLOGY
Two major cultures have left their mark on Santorini. The first is from the prehistoric period that excavations at Akrotiri have brought to light and the second is at Mesa Vouno of the Hellenistic period.
Ancient Thira: Mesa Vouno
Ancient Thira at Mesa Vouno is located at an altitude of 393 m in the south of the island between Kamari and Perissa. The Dorians captured the town in the 9th century BC and their leader was named Thiras, thus giving the island its name. The town was inhabited up to the early Byzantium period. German archaeologists excavated the main part of its cemetery between 1895 and 1902.
Prehistoric Thira: Akrotiri
Akrotiri is one of the important centres of the prehistoric period in the Aegean. The earliest evidence dates to the late Neolithic period of about 4th millennium BC followed by a settlement of the 1st Bronze Age dated to 3rd millennium BC. During the mid to late Bronze Age, about 20th - 17th century BC the settlement developed and became an important centre and seaport in the Aegean.
Covering an area of about 200 acres it reflects excellent urban organisation, with its storage areas, the multi-storey buildings with fine mural décor, furniture and household utensils. Akrotiri was a major trading centre of the eastern Mediterranean at its height of 1700 - 1600 BC and ended with the catastrophic eruption of the volcano forcing a massive exodus.
The eruption covered everything leaving Akrotiri undisturbed until 19th century when the first excavations took place. The most important systematic excavations were led by Spyridon Marinatos from 1967 until his death in 1974. His significant work was continued under the direction of Christos Doumas. The Akrotiri site is considered to be one of the most important in Greece.
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