Lloyd Townsend/National Geographic

The artist’s rendition reconstructs the ancient city with its tightly packed two- and three-story houses and narrow, jagged streets and captures a sense of the bustling activity that probably took place there. Paved streets with a drainage system running beneath them testify to the city’s advanced civilization. If more proof were needed, the large number of magnificent wall paintings already recovered come from just six out of 30 buildings known to have survived the eruption at Thera. What other artistic treasures lie entombed in Akrotiri’s volcanic ash?