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Ancient Akrotiri and Wine

September 13, 2022

This morning we headed to the far southwest part of the island to the excavations at Akrotiri, an ancient city some experts believe had a population of about 5000 souls before it was destroyed by a volcano in the 16th century B.C. Like Pompeii, thousands of artifacts were preserved by the ash, and as a result archaeologists have unearthed some 10,000 mostly intact clay urns and discovered frescoes and friezes perfectly preserved. The site, discovered only in 1967, is only about one-third exposed; and there are no current excavations ongoing due to the lack of funding associated with the Greek economic crisis in the years around 2010.

Evidence points to this being a prosperous community engaged in sea trade, as it lies along the route between Cyprus and Crete. Other discoveries reveal that the area was inhabited during the Neolithic period some 7000 years ago.. No human remains have been unearthed; our guide said one theory is that people fled by sea when the eruption was imminent.

The urns that were discovered intact are exquisite.

An undamaged toilet (truly a throne) occupies an upstairs corner in a house. In another area, you can see the many layers of ash that fell on the city.

From there we traveled to the northwest reaches of the island, to the town of Oil (pronounced Eeeya), where hordes of tourists crowded the shop-lined streets. We had but a short time, but lucked upon a cute restaurant called the Red Bicycle that was breezy, quiet and the perfect spot for a light lunch.

Our final stop of the day was the Art Space Winery, a combination wine cave and art gallery, where we tasted some truly delicious wines. The same family has owned the winery since the 1860s, and it is sort of a secret place.

One Comment
  1. What a day! You were surrounded by feasts for your eyes every step of the way. And then wine!

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