Lost Greek City Discovered By Archaeologists Hidden Under A Hill Near Athens.
Scattered on and around the Strongilovoúni hill on the great Thessalian plains near a village called Vlochós, some 190 miles north of Athens, the ruins had been dismissed as part of a small, irrelevant settlement.
“The fact that nobody had ever explored the hill before is a mystery,” Robin Rönnlund, a PhD student in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Gothenburg and leader of the fieldwork, said.
Rönnlund and colleagues from the University of Bournemouth, completed the first field season during two weeks in September 2016. The work was done in collaboration with the Swedish Institute at Athens and the local archaeological service in Karditsa.
According to Rönnlund, the hill is hiding many secrets, although hardly anything is visible on the ground.
“We found a town square and a street grid that indicate we are dealing with quite a large city. The area inside the city wall measures over 40 hectares [0.15 square miles],” Rönnlund said.
Ancient pottery and coins unearthed by the archaeologists helped date the city to at least 2,500 years ago.
“Our oldest finds are from around 500 BC, but the city seems to have flourished mainly from the fourth to the third century BC before it was abandoned for some reason, maybe in connection with the Roman conquest of the area,” Rönnlund said.
The researchers hope to avoid traditional excavation and plan to use ground-penetration radar instead. The technology will enable the team to leave the site in the same shape as it was in when they arrived.
The finding promises to reveal more about the history of this rather overlooked part of Greece.
“Very little is known about ancient cities in the region, and many researchers have previously believed that western Thessaly was somewhat of a backwater during antiquity,” Rönnlund said.
“Our project therefore fills an important gap in the knowledge about the area and shows that a lot remains to be discovered in the Greek soil,” he added.
A second field project is planned for August next year.