Prehistoric Museum of Thera
The Museum of Prehistoric Thera houses finds from the excavations at Akrtotiri, conducted under the auspices of the Archaeological Society at Athens, the earlier excavations at Potamos, made by members of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens, and rescue excavations at various other sites on the island, carried out by the 21st Ephorate of Antiquities for the Cyclades and Samos, as well as objects discovered fortuitously or handed over.
The exhibition is structured in four units, referring to the history of research at Thera, the geology of Thera, the island's history from the Late Neolithic to the Late Cycladic I periond (early 17th century B.C.) and the heyday of the city at Akrotiri (mature Late Cycladic I period, 17th century B.C.). In the last unit, in particular, various aspects are presented, such as the plan and architecture of the city and its organization as an urban centre, the emergent bureaucratic system, the development of the monumental art of wall-painting, the rich and diverse pottery repertoire, the elegant jewellery, the reciprocal influences between vase-painting and wall-painting, and the city's and the island's complex network of contacts with the outside word.
The exhibits include fossils of plants that flourished before the human habitation of Thera and archaeological objects. Among the earliest pieces are Neolithic pottery, Early Cycladic marble figurines, Early Cycladic pottery, including interesting pieces of the transitional phase from Late Cycladic II to Late Cycladic III period (Kastri group) from the Christiana islets and Akrotiri (3300-2000 B.C.) -Middle Cycladic pottery with a series of impressive bird jugs, many of them decorated with swallows - from Ftellos, Megalochori and Akrotiri (20th-18th century B.C.), and Early Cycladic metal artefacts from the last two sites.
It was built in 1960 by the Ministry of Public Works in order to replace the old museum (built in 1902), which had collapsed during the earthquakes of 1956.
The Museum contains the following collections:
- Sculpture, ranging from the Archaic to the Roman period.
- Inscriptions, ranging from the Archaic to the Roman period.
- Vases and clay figurines, dating from the Geometric to the Hellenistic periods.
Maritime museum in Oia village
Here you will find all kinds of displays featuring marine objects which trace the history of the island, especially during the 19th century.
The cultural center of the island is located in a beautiful old mansion called Megaron Gyzi. Here the visitor can observe the exhibitions, which give a cultural account of the island's history as well as marvel at the unique 17th century architecture of the mansion with its dome-shaped rooms and pebble stone yards. Old manuscripts, engravings with dresses, views and maps of the Cyclades islands, from the island of the 16th through the 19th century. Old photographs of how Santorini looked before the devastating earthquake of 1956 and paintings of well-known greek artists who worked on the island.