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Santorini Island
The Archelogical Site of Ancient Thira (Kamari) PDF Print E-mail

Ancient Thera, the Classical city of the island is located on Mesa Vouno, 396 m. above sea level. It was founded in the 9th century B.C. by Dorian colonists whose leader was Theras, and continued to be inhabited until the early Byzantine period.
The preserved ruins belong to the Hellenistic and Roman phases of the city. The residential area and the larger part of the cemeteries were excavated by German archaeologists between 1895 and 1902. The cemeteries on the NE and NW slopes of Sellada were excavated by N. Zapheiropoulos in the years 1961-1982.

The most important monuments of the site are:

ImageThe Sanctuary of Artemidoros, entirely hewn in the rock, was founded by Artemidoros of Perge. Engraved on the face of the rock are epigrams and inscriptions, as well as the symbols of the gods worshipped: an eagle for Zeus, a lion for Apollo, a dolphin for Poseidon. Also engraved is the portrait of the wreathed Artemidoros, the founder of the sanctuary. The whole structure is dated to the end of the 4th or the beginning of the 3rd century B.C.









ImageThe Agora lies almost at the centre of the city. Its southern part was actually the commercial centre and the middle one was the administrative centre. The northern part was added in the Roman period and included a portico, monuments and temple-like buildings, erected in honor of distinguished persons.



ImageThe Royal Stoa (46 x 10 m.) was built in the time of Augustus (1st century A.D.), in the SW part of the Agora. The main entrance is on the east side, towards the Agora and the roof was supported by an interior Doric colonnade along the axis of the building. Statues of members of the Ceasar's family were erected in the north part. Two inscribed slabs built in the west wall, record that the portico was repaired in A.D. 149 by Kleitosthenes, a rich Theran. 

ImageTemple of Dionysos. Small, Doric temple with a small cella and pronaos, built on an artificial terrace to the north of the Agora. The facade and roof were made of marble while the rest of the building was of local stone. Dated to the 3rd century B.C. (Hellenistic period).



Sanctuaries at the SE edge of the city. The area is occupied exclusively by sanctuaries, open-air or roofed (such as the sanctuary of Apollo Karneios, of Hermes and Heracles, of Ptolemy III etc.) and the square, where the Gymnopaediae (dances of nude boys) were held in honor of Apollo Karneios. Engraved on the rocks are numerous inscriptions dating from the Archaic to the Roman period, referring to deities and youths. 

ImageThe Sanctuary of Apollo Karneios, dated to the 6th century B.C., is partially hewn from the rock and partially built on an artificial terrace. It includes:
a. the temple with pronaos and cella
b. a square courtyard with an underground cistern, the roof of which was supported by six large monolithic pillars and
c. a small building, probably a repository.

ImageGymnasium of the youths. It lies at the south edge of the city and dates from the 2nd century A.D. A small cave, partially hewn from the rock, was dedicated to Hermes and Heracles. 



ImageCemeteries of Ancient Thera. They are located on the slopes of the Sellada, on either side of the roads that led to the north and south harbours of the ancient city, the modern villages of Kamari and Perissa, respectively. The graves uncovered span the long period between the Geometric and Roman times.


ImageThe Theatre lies to the SE of the Agora. It was constructed in the Ptolemaic period (3rd century B.C.) and in its original form had a circular orchestra. During alterations in the 1st century A.D., the stage was extended and took over part of the original orchestra. 


  • Image

    During the 7th Thessaloniki International Wine Competition (5-7 March 2007) in the framework of DETROP-OINOS exhibition, Santorini Wines received 13 awards.


    Among 683 samples from Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, France, Austria, Brasil, Mexico, and Canada wine experts have given:

    Grand Gold Award to
    Vinsanto 4 years aged,1999 vintage by Santowines


  • Magazine "Archaeometry", and BioEd Online articles are reporting that the roof paintings of a 2-level building in prehistoric Akrotiri site, have an extreem interest about the mathematical knowledge during the Bronze Age.