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Aphrodite Unearthed on Greek Subway Site

Monday, March 5, 2018

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A headless statue of Aphrodite has been uncovered near the Greek city of Thessaloniki, thanks to subway work that is moving near the Hagia Sophia, a Byzantine-era church.

Attiko Metro SA chairman Yannis Milopoulos announced the find over Facebook on Feb. 20, calling the statue “the Aphrodite of [the] Thessaloniki Metro.” The discovery also included fourth-century floor mosaics, noted the Greek City Times.

Aphrodite of the Metro

According to Milopoulos, over 300,000 antiquities have been uncovered at the Thessaloniki archaeological site. Archaeologists believe that the mosaics were either part of a large public building complex or urban villas. The mosaic floors are in reportedly good condition, and are designed in typical geometric patterns.

Wall ruins and a bath have also been saved in the same area, and current excavations indicate there is also a tank that supplied the bath with water. Glass fragments found on site are likely the remains of bottles of aromatic oils.

The complex is estimated to have been in use up until the fifth century, but was then destroyed when the marble square was built on top.

According to Newsweek, findings are to be formally presented at a conference March 8-10, which will focus on archaeological discoveries in the Macedonia and Thrace regions of Greece.

Subway Work

These discoveries, though, have furthered tensions between archaeologists and Attiko Metro, reflecting the difficulties of Athens building its own metro system.

The Thessaloniki metro system has been under construction for over a decade, with further extensions slated to cost $1.5 billion. According to Tornos News, the city is one of the few in the eurozone with a population of over 1 million that does not have an underground metro.


Tagged categories: Construction; EU; Europe; Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Infrastructure; Program/Project Management

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