Thessaloniki: Metro works reveal new archaeological finds in Macedonia

A view of the early Christian Basilica recently unearthed at the Sintrivani metro station construction site in the northern port city of Thessaloniki.

A large early Christian Basilica (1st to early 4th century AD) and an important late Byzantine period (1204-1430) building were unearthed at a same number of Thessaloniki metro construction sites over the recent period.

Part of a three-aisled, 50-metre-long basilica was unearthed during earthworks for the construction of the Sintrivani station and according to archaeologists it belongs to a cemetery.

An important building with centuries-long but undetermined use was discovered during construction works for the Venizelos station. The building was used from the late Byzantine Period until the 18th century and comprised two underground spaces accessed through a hatch. A coin dated back to the time of late Byzantine Emperor Ioannis V Paleologus (1332-1391) found inside the building is indicative of the period during which it was constructed. Its use during the Ottoman period can be associated with nearby Ottoman monuments of Bezesteni and Hamza Bei Tzami (Alkazar).

The 9th ephorate of Byzantine antiquities, responsible for the excavations, has proceeded with the creation of an electronic database to record and process the movable findings discovered during the Thessaloniki Metro construction works. More than 12,000 findings have been recorded so far.

An e-book with all the findings unearthed will be published as soon as excavations are completed.

Meanwhile, 15 tombs, dating to the Hellenistic and late Roman Period, were unearthed at the New Railway Station construction site; 35 tombs were found in Sintrivani Station and 17 Roman-era tombs were found at the Fleming station site. A building of undetermined use was discovered during works for construction of the Panepistimio station.

Athens News Agency - Macedonian Press Agency

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