One of Greece’s most famous archaeological sites, the Middle Bronze Age city of Akrotiri, reopened to the public today (April 11, 2012) after being closed for 7 years.
Built on the Greek island of Thera/Santorini, the prehistoric settlement was shut in 2005 after a protective roof collapsed, killing a tourist. A new steel and wood covering has now been built and the site admitted its first visitors this morning.
‘Akrotiri is a very important site; we want it open, accessible and safe,’ said Paul Geroulanos, Greek Minister of Culture and Tourism. ‘Visiting Akrotiri is a unique experience.’
Inhabited in c.1600-1525 BC, Akrotiri was once a prosperous trading centre but was abandoned after a volcanic eruption buried the site in several metres of ash. Its houses – many preserved up to two or three stories high, along with furniture and pottery – lay undisturbed for 3,500 years until the site was excavated by Spyridon Marianatos in 1967. See CWA 41 for more on this great discovery.
Watch out for Editor in Chief Andrew Selkirk’s article on his visit to Thera/Santorini in the next issue of CWA (#53)