The Museum of Prehistoric Thera at Fira, Santorini, is one of the most important in Greece. It hosts findings from the excavations at Akrotiri, both the older ones conducted by the German Archaeological Institute and the more recent ones by the 21st Emphorate of Antiquities. The late professor Spyridon Marinatos, one the leading archaeologists excavating Akrotiri, had the inspiration to built the museum.
The Museum of Prehistoric Thera first opened in the late 20th century and can be considered an extension of the Akrotiri archaeological site, since it hosts the frescoes and movable finds from that urban centre at its peak in the 17th century BC.
As the volcano rumbled warnings of its impending explosion to the inhabitants of Akrotiri, they managed to evacuate with almost all of their valuables, so most of the findings have been immoveable or less valuable objects, such as the wonderful frescoes, various ceramic utensils and vases, including the interesting souvlaki roaster and the portable oven. One could even playfully describe it as the ‘Museum of Thera’s prehistoric gastronomy.’
The frescoes contain scenes from Santorini’s countryside as well as everyday life and distant places. The pottery is decorated with plant (lilies, crocuses, vines) and animal (bulls, goats, deer, dolphins, swallows, and seagulls) motifs and the artwork is often of a stunningly high calibre.
Museum of Prehistoric Thera