Towards the end of the 12th c. BC Thera is colonized by Lacedaemonians, led by Thera, from whom it derives its name.
Dorians from Laconia and possibly Boeotia found the unwalled ancient city of Thira in the 8th century. e.g.
The city of ancient Thira flourished and was continuously inhabited from the Geometric to the Late Roman years (9th - 3rd centuries BC). Thera in the 6th c. BC mints its own coin and links its fate with the course of its metropolis, Sparta, during the Peloponnesian War. In the Hellenistic years the island was developed and used as a naval and military base of the Ptolemies.
Ancient Thira is built amphitheatrically on the natural fortress rock of Mesa Vounos (396 m.) on the eastern side of the island.
Most of the remains we see today belong to the city of Hellenistic (3rd - 2nd century BC) and Roman times, with impressive ruins along a road axis from N. to S. On the south coast, near Cape Exomytis , ancient port facilities were identified. To the NW. part of the city has been excavated the so-called "barracks of the Ptolemaic guard" (it was probably a residence building for its overseer) and a command post from the Ptolemaic period, as well as the so-called "Palazzo", which was probably the residence of the admiral of the Ptolemaic fleet.
Further south, the residential area stretches with luxurious houses with a peristyle. The market, on the main street, consists of three squares. The so-called "royal portico", 3rd c. BC, probably housed the imperial cult in the middle of the 2nd century AD. The temple of Dionysos (around 200 BC) housed the worship of Ptolemy VI and later (1st century BC - 1st century AD) the worship of the emperor. All three temples to the north were dedicated to the imperial cult. On the eastern slope, the theater (2nd century BC) with a portico facing the road, thermal baths and shops.
To the southeast, the sanctuaries of the city, the sanctuary of Ptolemy III (246 - 221 BC) the "market of the gods" with the archaic votive inscriptions engraved on the rock, the high school for teenagers, the love inscriptions on the rocks (ca. 600 BC).
In front of the temple of Karnei Apollonos, the ritual man - square where the nudist parties of the teenagers in Karnia were held.
In the SW. located is the location of the temple of Apollo Pythia (6th century BC), where a Christian church was later built. Immediately to the north the sanctuary of the Egyptian deities. To the north of the city, the small church of Christ (Christoulaki) is built on top of an ancient sanctuary (6th - 2nd century BC). Worship of Hellenistic times and in the neighboring cave of Pilarou.
Outdoor mosque of Artemidoros in the natural rock with city emblems in relief.
On the way to the entrance to the ancient city, a sanctuary of Aphrodite is excavated. The site is accessible, despite the difficult and steep topography of the area, through a path either from the neighboring hill of Prophet Ilias or through a zigzagging scenic route at the beginning and then a path from Kamari.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou