The ruins of a previously unknown ancient city have been discovered in Greece and show signs of being a much larger settlement than previously thought.
A team of archaeologists from Sweden, Greece and the United Kingdom is beginning to explore the site located at the village of Vlochos in central Greece.
“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,” said Robin Rönnlund, leader of the field work and doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg.
The archaeological remains lie on and around Strongilovoúni, a hill that rises 705 feet (215 m) above the plains of Western Thessaly.
Though the lower slopes are covered in silt and sediment from the nearby river Enipeas, the area below the hill still shows clear signs of a large urban settlement and well-preserved fortifications, which still rise 8 feet (2.5 m) at some points, are clearly visible atop the hill.
“We found a town square and a street grid that indicate that we are dealing with quite a large city,” Rönnlund said, “the area inside the city wall measures over 40 hectares.” He and his team finished their first field season in September 2016 and have made significant advances in learning about this city.
The site has yielded finds such as pottery and coins which help to provide insights about the society that once lived there and to date the city.
“Our oldest finds are from around 500 BC, but the city seems to have flourished mainly from the 4th to the 3rd century BC before it was abandoned for some reason, maybe in connection with the Roman conquest of the area,” Rönnlund said.
The team hopes to preserve the site by using methods such as ground penetrating radar, rather than traditional excavation techniques.
Lauren Leising is a science intern and a freelance writer based in Athens, Georgia.