We present an analysis of 32 high-resolution echelle spectra of the pre-main sequence spectroscopic binary AK Sco obtained during 1998 and 2000, as well as a total of 72 photoelectric radial-velocity observations from the period 1986-1994. These data allow considerable improvement of the period and other orbital parameters of AK Sco. Our analysis also includes eight series of photometric observations in the uvby and Geneva seven-color systems from 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1997. No eclipses or other periodic variations are seen in the photometry, but the well-determined HIPPARCOS parallax allows us to constrain the orbital inclination of the system to the range 65°<i<70°, leading to the following physical parameters for the two near-identical stars: M =1.35±0.07M☉, R=1.59±0.35R☉, and vsini=18.5±1.0km/s. Disk models have been fit to the spectral energy distribution of AK Sco from 350nm to 1100µm. The above stellar parameters permit a consistent solution with an inner rim temperature of 1250K, instead of the usual 1500K corresponding to the dust evaporation temperature. Dynamical effects due to tidal interaction of the binary system are supposed to be responsible for pushing the inner disk radius outwards. Combining simultaneous photometric and spectroscopic data sets allows us to compute the dust obscuration in front of each star at several points over the orbit. The results demonstrate the existence of substructure at scales of just a single stellar diameter, and also that one side of the orbit is more heavily obscured than the other. The spectrum of AK Sco exhibits emission and absorption lines that show substantial variety and variability in shape. The accretion-related lines may show both outflow and infall signatures. The system displays variations at the binary orbital period in both the photospheric and accretion-related line intensities and equivalent widths, although with appreciable scatter. The periodic variations in the blue and red wing of Hβ are almost 180° out of phase. We find no evidence of enhanced accretion near the periastron passage in AK Sco as expected theoretically and observed previously in DQ Tau, a similarly young binary system with a mass ratio near unity and an eccentric orbit. The Hα equivalent width displays rather smooth variations at the stellar period, peaking around phases 0.6-0.7, far away from periastron where theory expects the maximum accretion rate to occur.