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Santorini’s Akrotiri Excavations

Akrotiri was an ancient port city dating from the Bronze Age located to the south of the ancient island of Thera, now named Santorini. Destroyed by the eruption of the Santorini volcano in 1628 BC; just because the deposit of the volcanic ash on the city buildings, frescoes and creamics are preserved, that’s why it’s also called the “Pompeii of the Aegean”. According to some researchers of various periods, this has been interpreted as the city of Atlantis, the protagonist of the myth of Plato. It came to light in the 1967 thanks to the excavations by the archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos, who decided to excavate that area to confirm the hypothesis that the ancient Minoan civilization of Crete was destroyed by the volcanic explosion of Thera in 1628 DC. His explorations, however were delayed by the outbreak of World War II and he returned to the island only in the 60s, but there was only a little part of their previous work. In addition, the tracks of the nineteenth century excavations had been deleted from the farmers plowing. Marinatos began to dig at a given point, based on a map drawn by the French researcher Henri Mamet, in 1874, and on the instructions of local dwellers who had heard of ancient remains or had found them during plowing. That was how Nikos Pelekis, acting as a guide to Marinatos, influenced the decision to dig into a set back from the sea thinking the densest part of the city should arise in a more protected area and not near the port. The excavations began in 1967 under the guidance of Marinatos who directed them until 1974 the year of his death. In 1974 Marinatos died of a heart attack within the site, you can visit his grave just near the site. After two years from his death, in 1976 excavations resumed under the new direction of the archaeologist Christos Georgiou Doumas. The site has provided with the years very pictorial material, from the entirely preserved to the one in fragments.

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