Santorini Administrative Map

Passing through the gate, we find ourselves in the Triangular square. It is larger than the previous square and is bordered on the east and south by complex D, on the west by another building and on the north by the so-called West Flouse.

The West House gives us a very clear picture of what the houses of Akrotiri must have looked like. 11 is a two-storey structure, entered from the Triangular square. On the ground floor are storerooms and work areas, while the upstairs rooms are richly decorated with frescos. Room 4 contained a fresco showing a priestess, and in Room 5 the walls were ‘ , adorned with frescos of two fishermen, a sea-battle, a riverside landscape and a convoy of merchant ships. The maritime subject-matter of these frescos led Professor Marinatos to surmise that the West I louse may have belonged to the chief admiral of the island’s fleet. Room 4 al-m ) yielded a lavatory consisting of a clay seal with an opening from which a pipe ran into the main drain down the Street of I he Telchines.

As we leave West House, we can sec’ that the Street of the Telchines, beyond the north entrance to complex D, has been destroyed by the wa-ter from a torrent. We continue walking northwards. Now the Street of the Telchines is bordered on the west by the house of the Women, to our left. It was in the north wing of this building i hat the frescos of the Women and the Papyruses were found. It also yielded pottery, stone utensils and tools, among which was a half-finished marble object, most probably a vase.

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Our itinerary has now led us to section A, the point where the excavation began in 1967. Three rooms in the northernmost part of section must have been storerooms, for many jars were found here. Some of them still contained carbonised flour

A marble vase (chalice) from Akrotiri. The absence of marble on Santorini means that this mawellons piece of workmanship nuisi have been imported from one of ihe other islands in Ihe Cyclades (Athens. National Archaeological Museum). and badey. There are large windows in the walls of these rooms, through which the stored goods were most probably distributed. The fragmentary fresco of the African was found in a room in this building.

No written documents of any kind have been found in the prehistoric city of Akrotiri. This has meant that, in order to form any picture of the economic and social life there before the catastrophe, scientists have had to rely solely on the rich finds unearthed by the digs. Before discussing the theories on the social organization of Late Minoan Thera that have been formulated over time, let us look first at its economy.

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