Greece Archaeology Part 7

By | February 14, 2022

Fruit salad. – From ancient Thessaloniki, on the other hand, the remains of the tetrarchic city and numerous remains of the walls of the Christian and Byzantine age have come to light. The fortifications of the city appeared mostly from the Justinian period (Funtuku 1985) and follow the path of the most ancient walls, although frequent repairs appeared in the 13th and 14th centuries, especially on the acropolis. Along with significant remains of the Roman necropolis, numerous remains were discovered of late Roman baths and, above all, of basilicas and martyriaearly Christian and proto-Byzantine. Lastly, the demanding, delicate and important restoration of the Rotonda, carried out by the Byzantine Ephoria after the 1982 earthquake, should be noted; numerous new elements of judgment acquired both through the restoration of the splendid internal mosaic decoration, and through the excavation relating to the front of the monument towards the nearby arch of Galerius.

According to Watchtutorials, both the French School and the Ephoria and the Archaeological Society worked in Filippi. Among other things, French scholars were able to distinguish four phases in the structuring of the forum, the last of which was Byzantine, and studied the buildings on the side of the forum linked to the decumanus maximus ; while the Greek excavations involved the theater, the episcopal palace, the basilica of the apostle Paul, the region of the Octagon, the western and eastern necropolis (where a further basilica with a mosaic in the central nave was brought to light).

In the other important traditional early Christian excavation area of ​​Greece, Thebes of Phthiotis, today’s Nea Anchìalos, the excavations of P. Lazaridis involved the basilica of Archbishop Peter (three overlapping basilicas: mid 4th-6th century), a baptistery to the south and the baths to the north of the basilica.

A Dion D. Pantermalìs worked with fundamental results for the knowledge of the imperial and late ancient city. The necropolis, two early Christian basilicas, one of which is cemetery, the great Roman baths, the theater have been explored over the last decade. The discovery of a αίιίυοξϚα τῶν ϚξμποϚίὗν linked to a building of the middle imperial age with a splendid polychrome mosaic depicting Dionysus on a chariot pulled by marine centaurs is significant. The acmé of the city can be placed between the middle of the 2nd and the middle of the 3rd century, when a new city wall was raised on the Hellenistic foundations. It defended the city for a very short time, since – as the excavation of the walls themselves and of the southern baths has shown – it was devastated by a violent earthquake dated by Aurelian’s coins.

Aegean islands. – In Crete – whose Roman and Proto-Byzantine monuments have been carefully collected in the volume Roman Crete by FJ Sanders (1982), a valid scholar who died prematurely, and have been the subject of detailed aerial coverage by YW and EE for several years Meyers, in order to establish an aerial photographic atlas of Cretan antiquities – numerous fortuitous discoveries were made, but only in Knossos (English excavations in 1st-4th century AD dwellings west of the stratigraphic museum), Elèftherna (university excavations of Crete on the acropolis hill; identified a layer of generalized destruction attributable to the 365 earthquake), Litto (excavations of the Ephoria of Iraklion in the bouleuterion, in ateliersceramics and warehouses) and in Gortina (excavations of the Italian Archaeological School of Athens) extensive systematic campaigns were carried out aimed at exploring the cities of the Roman and Proto-Byzantine age. Materials of the same age also exhibit the two new museums of Crete, that of Chanià and that of Sitia, and in the latter center Roman buildings have been explored at the theater by the Greek Archaeological Service. V. Apostolaku has collected, in a specific study (1987), oil lamps with ivy leaf decoration on the disc produced in Crete in the 1st and 2nd century AD. C.

Moving on to the Dodecanese, both in Rhodes (Camiro) and in Kos (walled city) the Italian Archaeological School of Athens has resumed the study of the monuments – many of the Roman period – brought to light by the Italian Superintendence for Antiquities of the Dodecanese before the war; of one of the most significant monuments of Rhodes, built after the earthquake of the Antonine age, the Tetrapilo, probably from the age of Marcus Aurelius, a complete graphic rendering has been published.

Important early Christian discoveries, both in Rhodes (basilicas in Messanagios locality), and in Kalymnos (late 6th century basilica, martyrion and prothesis, in Vath’y locality), and in Kos (building south of Agios Ioannis), where significant remains of the Roman age have also come to light (two parallel streets, one of which is colonnaded at via Venizelu, a building that has five phases between the 4th century BC and the earthquake under Antoninus Pius, as well as remains of thermal baths and stratigraphic evidence of the earthquakes of 469 and 554, which last strongly marked urban life both in Kos and Rhodes).

Other aspects. – Finally, among the restorations undertaken by the competent Greek Ephorias, we should mention that of the complex of the Library of Hadrian in Athens and the Roman Odeion of Gortina and, among the numerous editions of Roman sculptures, the systematic one of the portraits of the National Museum of Athens by A. Datsuli Stavridi, who has also published quite a few unpublished works (for other portraits of the Antoninian age, Invernizzi 1979-80). Even more relevant is the beginning of the publication of a Corpus of early Christian and Proto-Byzantine mosaics, region by region, as well as of the Corpus of Christian inscriptions from Crete.

In conclusion, the last 15 years have seen a fervor of studies and a quantity of discoveries not only in the chronological context of the Paleochristian and Proto-Byzantine ages, periods for which Greece in terms of number of monuments does not appear second to any other region of the ancient world, but also for the Roman age. Of the new monuments that have come to light, a simplified statistic tells us that they are, first of all, paleochristian basilicas (in at least forty localities distributed throughout the continental and insular regions), followed by spas, the building that has always represented for the Roman world, the civilization of common living, and mosaics that show how even in Greece romana, and not only in Africa or in the East, the hand of work used in the mosaic decoration of both public and private buildings. A newodeion or theater has been identified in Verria and a theater in Thebes, while some large villas, especially from the late ancient age, have come to light; in Astros in the Peloponnese the remains of the famous villa of Herodes Atticus, the sanctuary of Polemochares, and the related museum have been arranged.

Greece Archaeology 7