In ancient times, Thira was occupied by Phoenicians, Dorians, Romans and Byzantines. The ancient site features a central road or Sacred way with marketplaces, homes, baths, sanctuaries, theatres and the house of Ptolemy Euergetes, in addition to Archaic and Classical-period tombs.
The site of Akrotiri, considered one of the most important in Greece, features remains of the Minoan civilization which was completely destroyed by the active volcano. Whole shops and houses, some three floors high, were buried underground similar to the Pompeii catastrophe. Spectacular murals were found in some of the buildings, as well as everyday objects and vases, many of which are on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Akrotiri is closed to visitors for repairs of a collapsed roof.
More information on Akrotiri can be found at www.therafoundation.org.