What happened and who were they?
From the findings of the excavations is now known that the area of Akrotiri was inhabited during the Late Neolithic period (around 4500 BC) and during the 18th century BC had become a city. In the early 17th century BC leveled by an earthquake, but was rebuilt on the ruins and flourished during the Late Cycladic period, until the burial of the Minoan eruption.
The location was safe, as it was protected from the northerly winds, while the terrain favored the development of agricultural activities. It is speculated that it was the capital of the island, but this is not yet confirmed. The extent of excavation is close to 14 acres, a small percentage of the prehistoric city, estimated to be approximately 200 acres and has around 30,000 inhabitants.
The building was dense and had multistory buildings with rich murals, organized warehouses, industrial space, excellent urban organization with streets, squares and had a well-developed drainage system, which passed beneath the pavement and connected directly to homes. The building materials were stone, clay, mud bricks reinforced by straw, wood, plaster inside and out. The large number of frescoes, which were decorated many of its buildings, usually the upper floors, gave a sophisticated and refined bourgeois society, which he dressed with luxury, elegance, colorful and impressive.
The fact that the settlement did not find any human skeletons indicates that a number of warning earthquakes forced the inhabitants to abandon it early. However, before the settlement was buried by volcanic ash eruption was struck by a large earthquake. Some residents later returned to the village to extricate those who had not had a chance to go and collect valuable and personal items. Other precursors of volcanic explosion phenomena, however, forced the inhabitants to re-abandon the city, as evidenced by the fact that the work of opening the roads never completed, while a large number of pottery found on rubble piles, where, apparently, had originally placed to move to safer places. The time, however, between the earthquake and volcanic eruption should not exceed a few tens of days, while the duration of the first explosion to the creation of the caldera is estimated at two to three days later.
The successive waves of ash swept away the roofs and upper parts of the buildings of the settlement. After the volcanic eruption and deposition of volcanic material that led to the burial of the village, followed by torrential rain, which eroded pumice and ash and in many cases. The rain was carrying liquid mud in the ground floor of the buildings of the settlement, which led both to the maintenance of their content, and to stay in place floors of the overlying floors.