Shortly after Santorini’s volcanoes became dormant, people began arriving to take advantage of the fertile soil on the eastern portions of the island. The Minoans flourished during the 400 years between 2000 BC and 1600 BC when their highly sophisticated culture was destroyed by the world’s most gargantuan eruption ever.
In 1967 the excavations of the ancient city of Akrotiri began and what the archeologists unearthed is truly remarkable. Buildings, some as tall as three stories, had been buried in ash preserving stunning ceramics and frescoes. Many of these are on display at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera (Santorini) in Fira. Only 5% of the site has been excavated so far and the finest frescoes have been relocated to the Archeological Museum in Athens.
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
We were sorry to learn that excavations at ancient Akrotiri are currently on hold since the accidental death of a visitor and the injury to several others at the site in 2005. A section of a roof collapsed unexpectedly and negotiations continue over the remedial work that must be done to ensure the safety of all visitors.
It wasn’t until after we returned to Athens that I realized that the frescoes that I had so much enjoyed seeing were one of the highlights for me during our visit to the Archeological Museum earlier. They are so rich in detail and the vibrant colours lead one to believe they were recently painted, rather than almost 4,000 years ago.