Non-invasive archaeology reveals details of ancient Greek city

Archaeologists conducting non-invasive research on and around the Strongilovoúni hill on the great Thessalian plain, northern Greece, registered features that allow for identification of the architectural remains near the village of Vlochós as of an ancient city.

Aerial photo of the fortifications (by Cecilia Koljing)

After one season of research it was possible to reassess the remains of the settlement on a hill as of a city of higher significance than previously thought. The site was not explored prior the the joint collaboration of archaeologists from the Swedish Institute at Athens and the local archaeological service in Karditsa. On the hill remains of towers, walls and city gates can be found on the summit and slopes, but hardly anything is visible on the ground below.

Aerial photo of the hill (by Cecilia Koljing)

The team of the Vlochós Archaeological Project found a town square and a street grid that indicate it is a quite large city, measuring over 40 hectares within the city walls. Oldest ancient pottery and coins found on the site are from around 500 BC, but the city seems to have flourished mainly from the 4th to the 3rd century BC. According to the researchers it is possible that the city was abandoned due to the Roman conquest of the area.

Red-figure Attic pottery from late 6th cent. BC (by Cecilia Koljing)

As very little is known about ancient cities in the region of Thessaly the project fills an important gap in the knowledge about the area. The project applies non-invasive techniques such as GPS measurements, aerial photography, and ground penetrating radar (GPR) measurements.

Ortomosaic of the north road on the hill (by

(after, Cecilia Koljing, The Local & Heritage Daily)

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