Ancient Thera

Agora of Ancient Thera

Ancient Thera

Quick Facts

Where

Island of Santorini

When

  •  Founded by colonists from Sparta – 8th or 9th century BC
  • Ruins date from the Hellenistic period (3rd – 1st century BC) and Roman period (1st century BC – 3rd century AD)
  • Town slowly declined until the 8th century AD when it was abandoned.

What Remains

Highlights:

  •  Temenos of Artemidoros – Hellenistic (mid 3rd century BC). Area at the western edge of town founded by Artemidoros of Apollios from Perge of Pamphylia. An open-air sanctuary with stone carvings of the eagle of Zeus Olympios, lion of Apollo Stephanephoros, the dolphin of Poseidon Pelagios, and a portrait of Artemidoros.
  • Agora – Hellenistic. In the centre of town and built on three successive level areas along the main street. Used for political, commercial and religious purposes.
  • Exedra – Roman. Three buildings which housed statues of prominent citizens. On south exedra survive the inscribed bases of the statues of Aristophanes of Elmertos and his step father Pantaxenos of Melehippos. On the north exedra the inscribed statue bases of Archis of Diodoros and her daughter, Archis of Themistocles.
  • Basilike-Stoa – Early 3rd century BC but major repair in mid 2nd century AD. A long and impressive public structure in the centre of town with a Doric colonnade. Roman era repair financed by Tiberius Flavius Kleitosthenes Claudianus, who added a pedestal for statues of the Roman Emperor and his relatives, as well as rich sculpted decoration.
  • Roman Baths – Public building with a stoa façade built during Hellenistic period but had major renovations during the Roman period probably by Tiberius Flavius Kleitosthenes Claudianus, citizen of Ancient Thera in the mid 2nd century AD.
  • Theatre – Hellenistic with Roman renovations. Seating capacity of 1500 in five wedge-shaped sections.
  • Gymnasium of the Ptolemaic Garrison – Hellenistic. Built for the naval garrison. A stele (now in Archaeological Museum of Thera) bears a letter from king Ptolemy VI Philometer, year 164/3 BC to the commander of the garrison Apollonios of Koiranos and a list of donations from officers and soldiers for the repair of the gymnasium. 

Sanctuaries and Temples: 

  • Sanctuary of Hera
  • Sanctuary of Aphrodite
  • Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios
  • Sanctuary of Egyptian Gods
  • Sanctuary of Ptolemaios III
  • Sanctuary of Apollo Karneios
  • Temple of Dionysus