|Posted by moodhacker on December 13, 2016 at 11:35 AM|
A fragment of red-figure pottery (SIA/EFAK/YPPOA)
"We found a town square and a street grid that indicate that we are dealing with quite a large city. The area inside the city wall measures over 40 hectares.
"We also found ancient pottery and coins that can help to date the city"the leader of the team, Robin Ronnlund said in his statement
Researchers from the University of Gothenburg and the University of Bournemouth have begun exploring the ruins at a village called Vlochos, around 300km (190 miles) north of Athens.
While some of the ruins were already known, they had been dismissed as part of an irrelevant settlement on a hill, the archaeologist explained
The city’s acropolis is barely visible during a cloudy day on the Thessalian plains (SIA/EFAK/YPPOA)
He added: "A colleague and I came across the site in connection with another project last year, and we realised the great potential right away.
"The fact that nobody has ever explored the hill before is a mystery."
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.
"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," Ronnlund added.
Fortress walls, towers and city gates are clearly visible from the air (SIA/EFAK/YPPOA)
The team, which also includes researchers from the Ephorate of Antiquities of Karditsa, found the remains of towers, walls and city gates on the summit and slopes of the hill.
They hope to avoid excavation and use methods such as ground-penetrating radar instead, which will allow them to leave the site in the same condition as when they found it.
During their first two weeks of field work in September, they have discovered an ancient pottery and coins dating back to around 500 BC.
Mr Ronnlund said the city appears to have flourished from the fourth to the third century BC before it was abandoned — possibly because of the Roman conquest of the area.
A second field project is planned for August next year.
two women wearing a hair net, hold poppy or pomegrenate flowers, and maybe a small bag of seeds. Parian marble, ca. 470BC. From Pharsalos, Thessaly
The Role of Thessaly in Ancient Greece
Thessaly’s fertile plains stretch south from the shadow of Mount Olympus.
Its numerous small cities were home to some of the richest men in Greece, their fabulous wealth evident in innumerable flocks and slaves.
With its strict oligarchic government, its reputation for indulgence and witchcraft, but also its dominant position between Olympus and Delphi and a claim to some the greatest Greek heroes, like Achilles and Hellen himself, Thessaly emerges as both the cradle of many aspects of Greek civilization and a challenge to the dominant image of ancient Greece as moderate, rational, and democratic.
In East Thessaly, an imporessive Neolithic settlement was discovered in the 1800s, by first excavations made by the Greek archaeologist, Christos Tsountas. The oldest fragments researched at Sesklo place the civilization's development as far back as c. 7510 BC — c. 6190 BC and they show an advanced agriculture and a very early use of pottery that rivals in age those of the near east.
This settlement gives its name to the first Neolithic culture of Europe, which inhabited Thessaly and parts of Macedonia.
Available data also indicates that domestication of cattle occurred at Argissa as early as c. 6300 BC during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic.[/
The aceramic levels at Sesklo contained bone fragments of domesticated cattle too. The earliest occurrence reported in the near east is at Çatalhöyük, in stratum VI, dating c. 5750 BC, though it might have been present in stratum XII too — c. 6100 BC.
The Neolithic settlement was covering an area of about 20 hectares in its peak period c. 5000 BC and comprised about 500 — 800 houses with a population of perhaps up to 5,000 people.
sourcces: independent, wikipedia, oxfordscholarship