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Mike's Odyssey to Greece - 2005

Part 16: The Museum of Ancient Thira

After wandering the streets for a couple of hours, I waited outside the door of the Museum of Ancient Thira.  I was told that one of the highlights of any trip to Santorini was a trip to the museum to see the various ancient artifacts recovered from the island.  So, I visited the Museum of Ancient Thira, which I thought was the only archeological museum on the island.

Ancient marble blocks on display outside the Museum of Ancient Thira in Fira.

Some 3,000 year old pots.

Some old pots excavated in Ancient Thira.  These pots are around 2,500 years old.

Old figurines from ancient Thira.  These were offerings left at a temple.

An ancient pot with a swastika on it.

More old pots from Ancient Thira.

In fact, the museum boasts hundreds of pots and at the end of the museum, they have an exhibit with some Roman-era statues that came from an ancient cemetery on the island.  For reasons that I still don't understand, you are not allowed to take pictures of them.

Santorini is home to Akrotiri, which is an ancient civilization.  After its discovery in 1967, archeologists discovered ancient wall paintings which are supposed to be on display in a museum in Fira.

So, after touring the museum and seeing all of the interesting pots, I was disappointed that I didn't get to see any of the wall paintings that were unearthed in Akrotiri.

When I asked the guide about this, she informed me that the wall paintings and all of the Akrotiri relics were in the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which is located about 5 blocks away.  She explained that this was the museum for Ancient Thira.  I guess "ancient" refers to Greek times (~500 BC) whereas "prehistoric" refers to the Minoan times (~2000 BC).  Also, most of these relics came from Ancient Thira, which was the Greek civilization on the eastern side of the island, whereas Akrotiri was on the southern side of the island. 

You can visit the Museum of Ancient Thira on-line at their website.

Continue on to Part 17:  Museum of Prehistoric Thira (or "Lots of really old stuff")