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santorini sign for akrotiri - Newest pictures

~ Santorini ancient Akrotiri ~

~ by katherine & anastasios ~

Ancient Akrotiri is a fascinating and important archaeological site on the Greek island of Santorini . Dubbed the "Minoan Pompeii" , the flourishing town was at once destroyed and preserved around 1450 B.C. by a volcanic eruption . Today is has been partially excavated and is protected from the sun inside a large shed .

An outpost of Crete , Akrotiri was settled by Minoans as early as 3000 B.C. and reached its peak after 2000 B.C. , when it developed trade and agriculture and settled the present town . The inhabitants cultivated olive trees and grain and developed sophisticated forms of art and architecture .
Scholars think that Santorini's volcanic explosion in 1450 B.C. was so powerful that it destroyed the flourishing Minoan world on Crete as well . At Akrotiri , pots and tools are still where their owners left them before abandoning the town . Unlike Pompeii , no human remains were discovered at Akrotiri - the residents clearly had ample warning of the town's destruction .
After the eruption in 1450 B.C. , Santorini was uninhabited for about 2 centuries while the land cooled and plant and animal life regenerated . The ruins of Akrotiri remained buried until 1860 , when workers quarrying volcanic ash for use in the Suez canal brought it to light once again .
Systematic excavations began under Professor Spiridon Marinatos of the university of Athens in 1967 and continued until 2005 , when the modern metal shed constructed over the site collapsed , tragically killing a British tourist and injuring several others . The site has been closed ever since , with the necessary repair work delayed by red tape . Sadly , it is not likely to reopen until sometime after 2010 .

Ancient Akrotiri provides a rare glimpse into urban life in the Minoan period . Its elaborate architecture and vivid frescoes demonstrate the high level of culture on ancient Santorini . It has been estimated that the 40 buildings uncovered so far account for only 1/30th of the...

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