The Xeste 3
The Xeste 3 stands in the southwest part of the excavation in Akrotiri. With its stone benches, grand staircase and lustral basin this building has produced the largest assemblage of frescoes in Akrotiri.
It is a large building, two storeys high containing 15 rooms each but the part of the building around the service staircase was three storeys high. The entrance leads into a paved vestibule (chamber / hallway) which gives access to a stairway to the upper floor. The grand staircase was adorned with wall paintings of colourful mountainous landscape with blossoming trees and flowers against the white background.
Some rooms are connected by multiple doors and were decorated by wall paintings. In one room a scared area was discovered referred to as a "Lustral basin". The most interesting frescoes was the one of three women in the field. The one on the left is seen offering saffron to an enthroned female figure with other sacred elements present, the monkey and griffin. Through the architectural features of the Xeste 3 building structure and frescoes, it is thought that the site was used for the performance of rituals.
The Xeste 3 is mainly made of stone and brick like the West House containing aspects that indicate it also belonged to people of the upper class. This excavation indicates this site as a building used for public ceremonies. It was a centre of ritual activity for the community. This indicating Thera to be an advanced civilisation during the bronze age.