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Santorini’s prehistoric site at Akrotiri
Friday 22 October 2004

The Culture Ministry said yesterday that Santorini’s prehistoric site at Akrotiri will be closed to visitors due to works until March 2005.

Author : www.travel-to-santorini.com

One tourist killed, six injured after vast roof falls on ancient site
September 23, 2005

A male tourist was killed and at least six people were injured when a huge state-of-the-art steel roof covering the Akrotiri archaeological site on Santorini collapsed yesterday afternoon.

More on eKathimerini

Author : Travel to Santorini

Santa Barbara Museum of Art on a tour that explores Santorini
February 13, 2006

See the islands in flower

DISCOVER the archeological treasures of the Greek isles on a 10-night tour that explores Santorini and Crete.

The tour, sponsored by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, begins May 10.

It's a wonderful time of year when wildflowers are blooming, enhancing the beauty of the historical sites, said Theresa Payne, a museum representative. She pointed out that, unlike during a cruise, participants will have an opportunity to enjoy life as the locals do.

Participants spend four nights on each island and two nights in Athens, where the tour begins and ends. The itinerary in Athens includes the Acropolis and Olympic stadium.

The group flies to Heraklion on Crete and drives along the coast to Rethymnon. Stops include the Palace of Knossos and the Monastery of Arkadi.

On Santorini, the group tours the excavations of Akrotiri, scales the extinct volcano at Fira and takes a cruise to the caldera islet of Thirassia.

Cost: $4,245 per person, double occupancy ($350 single surcharge), including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles to Athens, accommodations, all meals, internal flights and scheduled sightseeing and entrance fees.

Contact: The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; (805) 884-6476, http://www.sbmuseart.org

Author : LA Times

Work on roof for prehistoric site of Akrotiri begins again

Prime Minister (and Culture Minister) Costas Karamanlis had to intervene personally to end the funding shortfall that had bedeviled the makeover of the archaeological site of Akrotiri on Santorini (or Thera, to give the island its ancient name).

The Archaeological Society owed 4 million euros to the contracting company that had undertaken the replacement of the old roof with a new one, as well as a more general revamp of the major prehistoric site.

One of the largest pioneering works to take place at an archaeological site, work restarted this week when the money was provided to pay off the debt, following visits earlier this year by Deputy Culture Minister Petros Tatoulis, Alternate Culture Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia and General Secretary Christos Zachopoulos.

The 20 million euros that eventually will be provided will help to finish the project so that 18 months from now Akrotiri will be covered with a new bioclimatic roof.

From the beginning of October, the site of Akrotiri on Thera has been closed to visitors, the architect in charge of the roof project, Nikos Findikakis, told Kathimerini.

There was, he said, a period of about a month and a half when they could not carry out further work due to visiting tourists.

We’ve been working at full speed from the beginning of the month, Findikakis said.

This involves laying pipes to collect rainwater and channel it into tanks, completing work on the rust-proof roof and beginning the process of applying an insulating layer of Theran earth.

At the same time, orders were sent out for all the wooden sections: pergolas, frames, arches, and the like.

The unexpected has also been provided for. In the short time that the work had been suspended, the head of excavations, Professor Christos Doumas, fretted about possible flooding. Fortunately, his fears proved unfounded. Every possible measure by those in charge of the project has been taken to prevent the untoward.

Deadlines will be met, despite everything, and the work will be ready in a year and a half.

After the interior is finished, work will start on the surrounding area, to be followed by all the interior walkways, Kathimerini was told.

On completion, the new roof will be the largest structure to protect a prehistoric site in the world.

Practically, this means that the site of Akrotiri on Thera will be able to receive 1,500 visitors per day, as opposed to the 300 visitors in the past.

Five routes have been designed for visitors, with different tickets. Visitors will be able to purchase two-hour tickets, three-hour tickets, or one for the entire day. Opportunities to visit will also be provided to scientists and archaeologists, and there will be a tour for people with special needs, who will not be able to have access to all areas of the site.

Author : By Iota Sykka - Kathimerini

Volcanologist says past blast wiped out Plato's Atlantis
March 29 2006

Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, wrote the classic story of lost paradise, of the prosperous land of Atlantis disappearing without a trace, sunk into the sea by angry gods.

For centuries, the location of Atlantis and the real reason for its decline have been debated. Now scientists have pinpointed a likely location - the Greek island of Santorini where excavations have uncovered a once-thriving Bronze Age settlement of perhaps 20,000 people - and a cause - one of the most violent volcanic eruptions ever known.

Research by Greek volcanologist George Vougioukalakis, highlighted in the new IMAX movie "Greece: Secrets of the Past," has shed light on the pyrotechnic blast that buried the island in the spring of 1646 B.C. But questions about what happened to the Minoan people of Santorini remain buried in ancient volcanic soils.

Q: Places as improbable as Antarctica have been linked to the Atlantis myth. Why does Santorini seem a likely candidate?
A: I cannot accept any of these ties if it must be scientifically strict with what Plato says. But the most probable scenario is that Plato created the myth based on what was known at that time of the destruction of the civilization at Santorini.
We have topography, the colors that are very similar to the myth. The second point is that everything regarding the high state the civilization achieved fits with what happened to the Minoan civilization - how it was organized, the society, the level of architecture, the way they worked with nature, a high level of technical possibilities. These things lead us to consider that Plato used the example of the Santorini eruption to create a myth to convince Athenians to be very careful with democracy, not to attack each other.

Q: What methods did you use to date the volcano's eruption?
A: We have used radiocarbon dating from charcoal found in the soil that was covered by the Minoan eruption. And we have tree ring dating from Turkey to California that registers the heavy volcanic eruption. And we have ice cores in Greenland that show the high sulfuric rain and fine ash that could be contributed to the Santorini eruption. All these bring us to the same date: 1646 B.C., plus or minus 20 years.

Q: How did the date - a century earlier than once thought - change scientists' ideas about the Minoan culture?
A: There are still a lot of open questions. What is clear regarding this age is that the Minoan culture continued to exist after the eruption, based on dating of pottery. We have to find other causes for the Minoan decline (besides the volcano). In my opinion, it is most probable there was a social effect. They didn't have the power to continue.

Q: You've shown that no one could have survived the eruption or the tsunamis it generated at sea. What do scientists make of the fact that no bodies have been uncovered at Santorini?
A: I think it's the same as in Pompeii. We expect to find the people in the harbor waiting to leave or in some open areas where they were grouped trying to escape. I think you must have in mind that we have excavated only 5 percent of the occupied area. I think when we begin to excavate near the port, the people will be there.
We know that there had been an earthquake a short time before, and the people had returned, started to clear the debris and rebuild. When the eruption began, they would not have had time to move out of the settlement, not more than a few hundred meters.

Q: How long might it take to find bodies?
A: Excavation began in 1976, and it has to go on for tens of years or even 100 years. It is extremely difficult to excavate a single layer and try to conserve what is below. Now modern ideas about excavation are very different from old ideas. We have to imagine it will take a long, long time.

Q: You've estimated that Santorini erupted with the force of 40 atomic bombs - 100 times more powerful than Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Could this happen today?
A: What we accept is that this probably won't happen in the next few years. There have been smaller eruptions in 1925, 1940 and 1950. What we want are these smaller eruptions so that people can stay there and have a nice view of the eruptions. Now we have a very good monitoring system and will be able to forecast a good period before it happens, so no one is in danger.

Q: Does the IMAX film convey the reality of your work?
A: It is amazing in that it is scientifically correct and simple. This is a very strong point because it's very difficult to tell simple and correct stories. From my point of view, this is a very important thing.

More on Paramus Post

Author : Leigh Fenly

Shelter above the Prehistoric Site
October 29, 2010

The Consortium which constructs the Shelter above the Prehistoric Site of Akrotiri has already started removing the old roof which will be replaced by a new one... The goal is the archaeological site to be open to the public in the summer of 2011.

Author : TtS

Akrotiri shelter will open its doors 2011!
November 21, 2010

By 31 December, possibly earlier, the shelter of prehistoric Akrotiri site would be restored, while the May 31, 2011 the project will be complete delivered to archaeologists in order to organize the space to be opened to the public. The episode of the fall of a roofs section, which among others killed a man will be considered closed. However, it has since passed (23 September 2005) much longer than necessary to restore the damage, caused by defects in materials, static failure, manufacturing process etc. The consequences of this delay also measured in many ways regarding to both tourism and science, as the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri remained locked and inaccessible to visitors and scientist.

A Briton and a Swiss is now head of the project after the study on the collapse causes and roof restoration dedicated to the company Ove Arup & Rartners. Three cranes are currently working feverishly and, as Professor of Archaeology Ch. Doumas says, the only problem is the weather since the winds hinder their work. The zero point is approaching and yet to be installed four columns from the 94 supporting the protective shelter.

The damage has made changes throughout the shelter in seismic bearings and columns that support it, says the bioclimatic shelter architect Mr. N. Fintikakis. As he explains, the entire roof was replaced and now consists of solid metal beams, and also all the columns and seismic bearings are replaced. Over the metal roof will be installed as insulation and in accordance with the original design, the roof surface will be planted greenery.

According to Mr. Fintikakis, the remaining work is the installation of the ceiling, the windows on the perimeter doors and windows, and walkways (inside and outside). The biological treatment is already completed and the intermediate attic that was placed above the ancient to protect them is now removed.

The archaeological work was stopped at Akrotiri on the day of the accident. So stpped in the middle of the museological study for the ancients findings emergence. That means that after the shelter will be delivered, not everything will be completed. We have serious work ahead of us once we deliver it says Mr. Doumas. Specifically, within the site remains a road map for visitors, promoting the building of the settlement and thematic exhibitions of ancient findings will be placed on wooden shelves, closed with glass. Akrotiri is an ancient city, not a museum, so all operations in the archaeological area will be requiring attention. The shelves should not be confused with the ancient nor cause great opposition says Mr. Doumas. Externally provided a road map from the country line to the entrance of the site (about 150 meters) and a special place for visitors and guides at the entrance.

Recalled that the project developer is the Archaeological Society and the contractor J & P-AVAX. As for the budget, it is 30 million.

The shelter at Akrotiri was constructed in 2000 to replace the original, which was handy. This bioclimatic construction of stainless steel, wood and earth and has a life prediction of 300 years.

It covers 13.5 acres excavated archaeological site, which is a small part (!) of the city flourished in the Aegean in the second millennium BC

Akrotiri was unearthed by archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos in 1967

Author : TtS

Akrotiri must open!
March 1st, 2012

The Municipality of Thira to work out the archaeological site of Akrotiri. Here A press release sent to all media:

The archaeological site of Akrotiri, one of the biggest and most famous excavations around the world, is closed since September 2005, after the known incident of the collapse of part of the new shelter, which was then at the stage of completion.

Today, more than 6 years later and while the project has been completed by last fall, the area remains closed to the public without visible time of reopening.

The society of the island and thousands of visitors, all these years, showed understanding and tolerance as they had hoped that the project would be completed soon and that it will be a pioneering construction worthy of such a prominent archaeological site. But all have their limitations and the current situation can not continue. The project was completed and the site does not open.

The municipality of Santorini will not remain a spectator to an issue that is crucial to Santorini and beyond. In such difficult times that our country is going through one of the most important cultural resources can not work and is an obstacle and a deterrent to visitors coming to Greece.

Author : TtS

Akrotiri is officially open
April 11th, 2012

It was September 2005 when the ambitious modern roof structure, meant to protect the site, collapsed just prior to its completion. No damages were recorded to the antiquities. As a result of this, the site was closed to visitors. As of today April 11th 2012 at 10:00am, the site is once again officially open to the public after remaining closed for more than 6 1/2 years.

More information on Archaeological Site of Akrotiri

Author : TtS