Santorini – A group of islands

Santorini is a group of volcanic islands located in the Greek archipelago of the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea. This group of islands is considered to be the most active volcanic concentration in the Cyclades. Thousand of years ago, a catastrophic eruption occurred in this spot, leaving behind many deep ash deposits and a caldera of large dimensions.

It is interesting to know that locals often call Santorini Thera or Thira, the name of the largest and main island of the group. Thira has a territory of about 74 km2 and is inhabited by about 13, 500 people, and is the spot most visited by tourists due to the fact that most ferries connect this island with other Cycladic destinations, turning it into the most accessible of the group.

Thera, the main island in Santorini, is very interesting from a historical and archaeological point of view. Some excavations done during the decade of 1960 brought to the light a variety of interesting discoveries which turned this area into a major Minoan site. The most important of these discoveries were carried in a spot known as Akrotiri, nowadays recognized as the second most important Minoan place after Crete.

According to discoveries, Santorini was inhabited as long ago as in the 4th millennium BC, by a Late Neolithic settlement. Besides this, between the years 2000 and 1600 BC, the area of Akrotiri became a very important port, considered one of the most relevant of its kind during the Bronze Age.

Among the most interesting archaeological discoveries done in Santorini, we can name, for example, the antique Pipes and a group of fragmentary paintings. The antique pipes discovered in this spot are the oldest of its kind discovered in the region, allowing to infer that the Therans were supplied with hot and cold water. The fragmentary paintings, discovered in Akrotiry, show a strong relationship between these antique settlements and the ancient Greek mythology. Many of these paintings show a Christian – Greek style, and some of their images allowed archaeologists to learn important facts and receive new information about the époque.

Map of Santorini in Greece