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The excavation on the island of Santorini begins in the early 19th century BC and continues until the present day in various areas.The two major archaeological sites of the island are the excavations of the Cycladic civilization of Akrotiri and on the other side,  the city of Ancient Thira in Mesa Vouno. . Akrotiri , the prehistoric city of the period of the ' Minoan ' eruption was one of the most important areas of the Cycladic civilization of the third millennium BC ( Cycladic period) and thanks to its strategic geographical position developed as cosmopolitan and not only port. During the Middle Cycladic period (2000 BC - 1650 BC) , played an important role in the movement of goods and the development of metallurgical activities  that brought it at the forefront not only in the Aegean civilisation but also in the  Mediterranean. The cultural development of the people is shown by the numerous findings that have come to light which complement the interpretive path of Culture of Akrotiri.

The city of Ancient Thera, built on the hill of Mesa Vouno, and founded by Dorian colonists in the 8th century b.c. From its establishment till the end of the antiquity, was the only urban and religious part of the island. The city was discovered by the German philologist Hiller von Gaertringen and his colleagues.