Learning about the geological past and human history is something that has always intrigued me. To look at an object or place that is from a time period different than our own is remarkable. To have the opportunity to witness such a landmark has been truly wonderful. I can remember distinctly the feeling I got when I realized that we would be visiting Akrotiri. I was excited and full of questions. Walking into the excavation site and seeing the city transported me back in time 3,600 years. You see an arrangement of 1, 2, and 3-story buildings and can visualize what they were used for and how tall the city would have stood in its prime time. Looking at Akrotiri, you see the amazing way that all the items especially pottery have been preserved.
A French company that was building the Suez Canal discovered the Akrotiri in the 19th century. They were there to take some ash and send it back to Egypt for the construction of the canal. Once they removed the thick mantle of ash they found what they thought of as a “very old” civilization . The city was recorded with precise scientific detail by a French volcanologist Folque. The real research and excavation of Akrotiri did not begin until the 1960s. During this time it was discovered that there was much more to unearth of Akrotiri .
As a result of this discovery and the information that has been uncovered based on the artifacts and buildings life in Ancient Akrotiri is well understood. Various everyday items such as pottery, bed frames, and wall paintings have been found in the city.
The more it was excavated, the more pieces were found to start piecing together the site and recreating what it may have looked like during its time. Along with the actual building structures that were being excavated, there were also smaller artifacts such as pottery. The pottery that was found have been extremely well preserved by the pumice. Seeing the pottery in person allowed me to see the extent to which these relics had been preserved. The paint on most of them is still intact and the pictures drawn on them are clear.
Akrotiri and its artifacts have been nicely preserved by the pumice that was let out during Phase 1 of the eruption. Phase 1 was when there is pumice being ejected from the volcano, which is known as pumice fall. During this phase, the temperature is very hot and the conditions are very dry and arid. The pumice that fell over Akrotiri differs in thickness. The first layer that fell over the city was approximately 3m. The second layer was from .50m-1m thick, and the final layer that fell on Akrotiri was about 5 m thick .These layers of pumice have worked to preserve what was left of the city.
Akrotiri has brought insight into the past and yet still has some mystery to it. Even though artifacts have been recovered and some of the city exposed, there is still much left to be done. Akrotiri has not been fully excavated and it may not be done for quite some time. For now we must just learn from what has been done and found, and wait until the day we can uncover the whole truth.
 Pavlou, Clairy,2005, Prehistory Monographs, Volume 15:Akrotiri, Thera: An Architecture of Affluence 3,500 years old. Philadelphia, PA,USA: INSTAP Academic Press
Friedrich W.L., 2009, Santorini: Volcano, Natural History, & Mythology, Denmark: Aarhus University Press, 312 P.