A Day to Remember ( Akrotiri)

21 Oct

Since living in Crete I have discovered what a wonderful invention the computer is for keeping in touch not only with relatives and friends,but the rest of the world. Anything you need to know about, is there at the touch of a button.It was through this media that my friend Joy Valero who lives in the United States contacted me by e mail regarding a subject we both share,that of the Native American Indians. However, it is the archaeological site of Akrotiri  that my post is about today and I hope you will enjoy it.

You can imagine how delighted I was when my friend decided to come to visit us and we met in person for the first time in four years. Joy was staying with us for two weeks so my partner John and I had a few places in mind we wanted her to see even though she had her own itinery which included Akrotiri on the island of Santorini in Crete.


The approach to Akrotiri is a wonderful sight to behold .Click the picture above for larger view.

Akrotiri is identified as the best preserved prehistoric site and is therefor regarded as a crucial site because of that.At the end of the 17th century B.C., the volcanic Thera erupted,in what seems to be one of the biggest eruptions in the history of our planet. Under the volcanic remains,lay the city of Akrotiri. It is believed that the 30,000 inhabitants flew before the disaster occurred as no bodies were recovered. What was recovered however was extremely well preserved. Artifacts such as pottery and beautiful wall paintings were found. The volcanic eruption had been a disaster but at the same time a preserver.

When my friend and I arrived on Akrotiri we were absolutely stunned by the size of the archaeological site, we could not believe so much of the city had been discovered under all the debris from the Thera eruption. We were looking at most of the houses and other buildings almost complete except for their roofs, it was amazing.


The site was first discovered in 1866,after another small volcanic eruption,and since 1967 excavations began then under Professor Spyridon Marinatos. Streets, public and private three floor high buildings and squares can be seen. In every house astonishingly well preserved wall paintings covering the interior of these buildings were found Wall paintings were found in public as well as private houses. Each home had its own drawings, which shows it is very likely that the subject painted was related to the people living in these houses at the time. For instance,a fisherman would have paintings related to his occupation and so on.

Much information concerning the lives and habits of the people can be drawn from the wall paintings alone. Most human figures represented are well dressed,with jewelry. Animal paintings were also evident. The Minoans impressionable Naval fleet was also depicted in many murals.

 The Blue Monkeys Fresco

The Minoan frescoes discovered depict”Saffron Gatherers” who offer their crocus-stamens to a seated lady,perhaps a goddess; in another dwelling two antelopes painted with a flowing decorative,calligraphic line; the famous fresco of a fisherman with his strings of fish strung by their gills;

  The flotilla of pleasure boats accompanied

by leaping dolphins,while ladies shade beneath the light canopies.

Here are a few more of these beautiful frescoes found in various rooms at the Akrotiri site.

                                         The Saffron Gatherers

 Springtime Fresco

 The Boxing Boys Fresco 


Pithoi (Storage Jars) From Akrotiri                                                            

Table of offerings Akrotiri                                                       Pottery Boars Head.

 Close up of the Ladies Fresco

In the all important well organised West House, there were storerooms,workshops, a kitchen and a mill installation was discovered. The first floor was occupied by a spacious chamber which was used for weaving activities. A room for the storage mainly of clay vessels  was also uncovered. This room is where the fresco of the fishermen and the famous Flotilla freize was found.

 The West House Akrotiri


This photo was taken of the spectacular sunset over Santorini on our way home.

Obviously there is much more to this archaeological site than I can put here but I hope it will give some idea of the many hours, or should I say years put in by the team of archaeologists and conservationists enabling us to see the importance of Akrotiri. I myself, and my dear friend Joy were awe inspired and completely exhausted when we left Akrotiri,but what a day to remember.


Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Archaeological Digs


14 responses to “A Day to Remember ( Akrotiri)

  1. mbjssgpm

    October 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    What a great blog Rita, and the images are fantastic! Makes we want to come to visit! Gill 🙂


    • ritaroberts

      October 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks glad you enjoyed my last post Gill. Like I said, you can come visit whenever you can make it. Thanks for twitter Rts also.



  2. Joy

    November 12, 2012 at 3:06 am

    Wonderful memories, wonderful day…..wonderful 2 weeks, in fact……Who knows, next year Colorado perhaps……………..? Still miss that Crete weather……..


  3. dorannrule

    July 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    An awesome post and I am so happy to have found you. I am following you now too. 🙂


    • ritaroberts

      July 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Thank you I look forward to reading more of your posts also.


  4. clairecatacouzinos

    November 28, 2013 at 1:44 am

    Beautiful post. So much to love about Akrotiri 🙂


    • ritaroberts

      November 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      I agree Claire! and I shall go again, the atmosphere there was incredible.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ambientimages

    May 20, 2015 at 10:30 am

    I’m glad it’s open again, I was there in 2004 – before the new roof collapsed and they closed the site for years. It’s amazing to walk those streets and see the city as the ancients would have. The construction methods don’t seem much – if at all – different from those still in use in Crete a century ago. My own house, near Rethymnon (built c. 1870), is similar to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mithai Mumblezz

    February 14, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    A beautiful account. A time very nice day spent with Joy. And the account on Akrotiri is amazing. A very detailed and interesting archaeological post. And I’m sure Joy and you had a lovely time in eachother’s company. We make some very deep friendships through net and such experiences help us meet amazing people 🙂
    A beautiful read.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ritaroberts

    February 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    You are right Mithai, I have gathered many friends inclusive of yourself of course through the internet and blogging.. The day at Akrotiri was so special and both Joy and myself were overwhelmed with the archaeological site which she had long wanted to see. I am so glad she got her wish. I can’t think of Akrotiri now without thinking of Joy. Thanks again for your nice comments Mithai. x


  8. Thalassa

    March 3, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I like this post!
    Can’t wait to go back there.
    Next time I’ll stay at Akrotiri.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. ritaroberts

    March 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Well let me know when you are thinking of going Thalassa. O.K.


  10. Sue Wright

    November 14, 2019 at 3:23 am

    I enjoyed your blog Rita, it is way too long since I last saw Akrotiri I have a photo taken in 2001 of the West House with the old roof which you will know collapsed in 2006. I am updating my website and would like to include a photo with the new roof which you must have take soon after the site was re opened, Would you allow me to add yours photo from the top of this blog. I will of course give you credit and a link to your blog.

    Once I have uploaded the new version of my website, I will send you a link

    Kind regards from Sue in Toronto Canada

    Liked by 1 person

    • ritaroberts

      November 14, 2019 at 7:38 am

      Hi Sue so glad you enjoyed my post. Of course you have my pemission to use photo’s. And thanks for the link. I intend to go to Akrotiri again sometime in the future. Best wishes.



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