Minoan - Art Artefacts - Athens Archaeological Museum - Pictures & Images of - { 156 images } Created 14 Feb 2016

(updated 2021)
Pictures photos images of the Minoan frescoes Akrotiri exhibited at the Athens Archaeological Museum, Greece. Akrotiri was a Cycladic Bronze Age settlement on the volcanic Greek island of Santorini (Thera). The settlement was destroyed in the Theran eruption sometime in the 16th century BC and buried in volcanic ash, which preserved the remains of fine frescoes and many objects and artworks. The settlement has been suggested as a possible inspiration for Plato's story of Atlantis. Akrotiri has been excavated since 1967. The earliest evidence for human habitation of Akrotiri can be traced back as early as the fifth millennium BC, when it was a small fishing and farming village. By the end of the third millennium, this community developed and expanded significantly. One factor for Akrotiri's growth may be the trade relations it established with other cultures in the Aegean, as evidenced in fragments of foreign pottery at the site. Akrotiri's strategic position on the primary sailing route between Cyprus and Minoan Crete also made it an important point for the copper trade, thus allowing it to become an important centre for processing copper, as proven by the discovery of moulds and crucibles there. Akrotiri's prosperity continued for about another 500 years; paved streets, an extensive drainage system, the production of high quality pottery and further craft specialization all point to the level of sophistication achieved by the settlement. This all came to an end, however, in the 16th century BC with the volcanic eruption of Thera. There is a variety of dating evidence for the eruption, but its exact year is not known. Radiocarbon dating places it most probably between 1620 and 1530 BC.

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