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Pithoi Storeroom

Pithoi Storeroom, Akrotiri, Thera in Santorini by Joy of Museums

Pithoi Storeroom

The Pithoi Storeroom was the name given by the leading archaeologist to this first building that was excavated in 1967 at the Akrotiri Archaeological Site. What the archaeologist found was a room full of large storage jars called Pithoi by the Greeks. These storage jars were used extensively in the Bronze Age economies such as Akrotiri for storing or shipping wine, olive oil, or various types of vegetable products.

Akrotiri, Thera

Akrotiri was a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on the volcanic Greek island of Santorini (Thera). The civilisation of the Bronze Age city was affiliated to the early Cretan culture. The Akrotiri settlement was destroyed in the Theran volcano eruption sometime in the 16th century BC  which buried this site in volcanic ash. The ash preserved the remains of frescoes and many artefacts and artworks which were first excavated in 1967. This settlement has been suggested as a possible inspiration for Plato’s story of Atlantis.

Pithos

Pithos is the Greek name for a large storage container and has been applied to such containers used among the civilisations that bordered the Mediterranean Sea in the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and Iron Age. Pithoi had been used for bulk storage, primarily for fluids and grains; they were comparable to the drums, barrels and casks of recent times.

Discarded pithoi found other uses, such as bathtubs, for burials and sometimes the bones of the interred were placed in pithoi. Pithoi were manufactured and exported or imported all over the entire Mediterranean.

Reflections

  • How many modern gardens use a Pithos as a decorative feature?

Highlights of Akrotiri Archaeological Site

Akrotiri Archaeological Site

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“Faithful earth, unfaithful sea.
– Greek Proverb

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Photo Credit: JOM