Nav: Home

Swedish and Greek archaeologists discover unknown city in Greece

December 13, 2016

An international research team at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg, is exploring the remains of an ancient city in central Greece. The results can change the view of an area that traditionally has been considered a backwater of the ancient world.

Archaeologists from the University of Gothenburg have begun exploring a previously unknown ancient city at a village called Vlochós, five hours north of Athens. The archaeological remains are scattered on and around the Strongilovoúni hill on the great Thessalian plains and can be dated to several historical periods.

'What used to be considered remains of some irrelevant settlement on a hill can now be upgraded to remains of a city of higher significance than previously thought, and this after only one season,' says Robin Rönnlund, PhD student in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Gothenburg and leader of the fieldwork.

'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 never explored the hill before is a mystery.'

In collaboration with the Swedish Institute at Athens and the local archaeological service in Karditsa, the Vlochós Archaeological Project (VLAP) was started with an aim to explore the remains. The project's research team completed the first field season during two weeks in September 2016.

Rönnlund says that the hill is hiding many secrets. Remains of towers, walls and city gates can be found on the summit and slopes, but hardly anything is visible on the ground below. The ambition is to avoid excavation and instead use methods such as ground-penetrating radar, which will enable the team to leave the site in the same shape as it was in when they arrived. The success of this approach is evident from the results of the first field season:

'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. 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 believes that the Swedish-Greek project can provide important clues as to what happened during this violent period in Greek history.

'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.'
-end-
The Vlochós Archaeological Project (VLAP):

VLAP is a collaboration between the Ephorate of Antiquities of Karditsa and the Swedish Institute at Athens. In 2016-2017, a team of researchers from the University of Gothenburg and University of Bournemouth is exploring the remains of a city in Vlochós as part of the project. Read more at vlap.se

University of Gothenburg

Related Ancient City Articles:

City rats: Why scientists are not hot on their tails
Researchers argue they need greater access to urban properties if they are to win the war against rats.
From where will the next big earthquake hit the city of Istanbul?
Scientists reckon with an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or greater in this region in the coming years.
Looking for a city's DNA? Try its ATMs
Automated teller machine keypads in New York City hold microbes from human skin, household surfaces, or traces of food, a study by researchers at New York University has found.
Two tales of a city to understand sustainability
Just as there are two sides to every story, sustainability challenges have at least two stories to reach every solution.
Desert, city overlap explored in Phoenix
Th conference tour tells the story of desert resilience.
More Ancient City News and Ancient City Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans
More than test scores or good grades — what do kids need to prepare them for the future? This hour, guest host Manoush Zomorodi and TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, in and out of the classroom. Guests include educators Olympia Della Flora and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#535 Superior
Apologies for the delay getting this week's episode out! A technical glitch slowed us down, but all is once again well. This week, we look at the often troubling intertwining of science and race: its long history, its ability to persist even during periods of disrepute, and the current forms it takes as it resurfaces, leveraging the internet and nationalism to buoy itself. We speak with Angela Saini, independent journalist and author of the new book "Superior: The Return of Race Science", about where race science went and how it's coming back.