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The city of Megara has been declared an archaeological site

31 October 2013 / 18:10:35  GRReporter
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The city of Megara and the surrounding area of ​​nearly 40,000 hectares have been declared an archaeological site by a unanimous decision of the Central Archaeological Council.

The Council had taken into account all the archaeological data presented in detail in the proposal of the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Monuments. The proposal included a variety of old and new monuments of interest to archaeologists such as the two ancient harbours, namely Pegae in the Gulf of Corinth and Nausea in the Argo Saronic Gulf.

Preservation of ancient monuments in the area of ​​Megara

The preservation of the important monuments in the region of Megara has been the main concern of the Central Archaeological Council’s members who have given the green light to the project. Actually, they had expressed some reservations regarding the large area of the site, pointing out a number of problems that would consequently arise, such as the difficult control of the excavations on the part of the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Monuments. However, the Directorate is already carrying out inspections in the larger part of the area, the result of which is a long list of monuments within and outside the city.

Extraordinary monument

The famous aqueduct found in Megara and considered as the work of famous architect Eupalinos was one of the most significant and largest aqueducts in the 5th century BC. The aqueduct as well as the large number of water channels found in different parts of the ancient city explains why it "never remained without water", as mentioned at the meeting of the Council.

The two hills of the city where the acropolises of Alkatos and Caria were located are full of ancient building materials, often used in the construction of churches during the post-Byzantine era. Cave Mourmouni, which is in the rocks and which was a sanctuary of goddess Demeter, has been preserved on the hill of Caria as well.

The famous tunnels of Megara

The Ancient Agora, part of which was found in 1937 under the modern Iroon Square (The Square of Heroes) continues to evoke memories mainly due to the discovery of new architectural parts and elements, as happened during the excavations of a street east of the square.

The same happens with the famous tunnels of Megara which, according to some, had given the name to the region and which were used for storage and during religious rituals because they were associated with goddess Demeter and the agricultural activity in the region. Two such tunnels dating back to the second half of the 4th century BC were found during the rescue excavations carried out in the period 2006-2010 within the context of the project for the building of a water treatment plant in the city of Megara.

Archaeological map of the city

Parts of the fortress wall of Megara have been found in various parts of the city, the most significant one being discovered during the aforementioned rescue excavations in 2006-2010. It was part of the south wall where the Nimfades gates that were vital to the ancient city, since they were connecting it with the port of Nausea, have been found between two semicircular towers.

Remnants of classical temples, public and private buildings, cemeteries with rich and beautiful gifts, many of which are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of the city, bath-houses of late antiquity, ceramist’s and dyer’s shops, and dozens of Byzantine and more recent monuments, supplement the archaeological map of the city, where the creator of the famous aqueduct on the island of Samos, known as the "Tunnel of Eupalions", was born, the city that colonized Byzantium, where Constantinople was later founded.

Tags: MegaraArchaeological siteCentral Archaeological Council
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