Subway work unearths ancient road in Greece

June 26, 2012 by COSTAS KANTOURIS
Workers of Metro's construction company are seen at the ancient ruins in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki on Monday, June 25, 2012. Archaeologists in Greece's second largest city have uncovered a 70-meter (230-foot) section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city's main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago. The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for the city's new subway system that is due to be completed in four years, and will be raised to be put on permanent display for passengers when the metro opens. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

(AP) — Archaeologists in Greece's second-largest city have uncovered a 70-meter (230-foot) section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city's main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago.

The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for Thessaloniki's new subway system, which is due to be completed in four years. The road in the northern port city will be raised to be put on permanent display when the metro opens in 2016.

The excavation site was shown to the public on Monday, when details of the permanent display project were also announced. Several of the large marble paving stones were etched with children's board games, while others were marked by horse-drawn cart wheels.

Also discovered at the site were remains of tools and lamps, as well as the bases of marble columns.

Archaeologists and employees of Metro's construction company present to the media and public the ancient ruins in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki on Monday, June 25, 2012. Archaeologists in Greece's second largest city have uncovered a 70-meter (230-foot) section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city’s main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago. The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for the city's new subway system that is due to be completed in four years, and will be raised to be put on permanent display for passengers when the metro opens. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

Viki Tzanakouli, an archaeologist working on the project, told The Associated Press the Roman road was about 1,800 years old, while remains of an older road built by the ancient Greeks 500 years earlier were found underneath it.

"We have found roads on top of each other, revealing the city's history over the centuries," Tzanakouli said. "The ancient road, and side roads perpendicular to it appear to closely follow modern roads in the city today."

A worker of Metro's construction company holds a fragment of old pottery in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki on Monday, June 25, 2012. Archaeologists in Greece’s second largest city have uncovered a 70-meter (230-foot) section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city's main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago. The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for the city's new subway system that is due to be completed in four years, and will be raised to be put on permanent display for passengers when the metro opens. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

About 7 meters (23 feet) below ground in the center of the city, the ancient road follows in roughly the same direction as the city's modern Egnatia Avenue.

The subway works, started in 2006, present a rare opportunity for archaeologists to explore under the densely populated — but have also caused years of delays for the project.

Archaeologists and employees of Metro's construction company present to the media and public the ancient ruins in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki on Monday, June 25, 2012. Archaeologists in Greece's second largest city have uncovered a 70-meter (230-foot) section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city's main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago. The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for the city's new subway system that is due to be completed in four years, and will be raised to be put on permanent display for passengers when the metro opens. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

In 2008, workers on the Thessaloniki metro discovered more than 1,000 graves, some filled with treasure. The graves were of different shapes and sizes, and some contained jewelry, coins or other pieces of art.

A massive excavation project also took place during the 1990s in the capital, Athens, before the city's new metro system opened in 2000.

(AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

Thessaloniki's new subway is already four years behind schedule, due to the excavation work as well as Greece's financial crisis. Thirteen stations will operate initially, before a 10-station extension is added later.

Explore further: Roman footprint found in ancient city

1 shares

Related Stories

Roman footprint found in ancient city

August 27, 2007

Archaeologists in Israel said they've discovered a footprint from the sandal of a Roman soldier during an excavation of the ancient city of Hippos.

New ancient Egypt temples discovered in Sinai

April 21, 2009

(AP) -- Archaeologists exploring an old military road in the Sinai have unearthed four new temples amidst the 3,000-year-old remains of an ancient fortified city that could have been used to impress foreign delegations visiting ...

Israeli archaeologists discover ancient quarry

July 6, 2009

(AP) -- Israeli archaeologists have uncovered an ancient quarry where they believe King Herod extracted stones for the construction of the Jewish Temple 2,000 years ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Monday. The ...

Israeli archaeologists uncover Roman pool

November 22, 2010

While excavating the site for a planned new ritual bath for Jews in Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists uncovered a pool belonging to the Roman legion that sacked the city nearly 2,000 years ago.

Recommended for you

Can genes make us liberal or conservative?

August 4, 2015

Aristotle may have been more on the money than he realised in saying man is a political animal, according to research published Wednesday linking genes with liberal or conservative leanings.

Earliest evidence of reproduction in a complex organism

August 3, 2015

Researchers led by the University of Cambridge have found the earliest example of reproduction in a complex organism. Their new study has found that some organisms known as rangeomorphs, which lived 565 million years ago, ...

Model shows how surge in wealth inequality may be reversed

July 30, 2015

(Phys.org)—For many Americans, the single biggest problem facing the country is the growing wealth inequality. Based on income tax data, wealth inequality in the US has steadily increased since the mid-1980s, with the top ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.