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Following the construction of a new metro station in the city of Thessaloniki, located in northern Greece and the former capital of Macedonia, thousands of objects have been discovered in what is considered to be the largest excavation carried out in this city.
These excavations, carried out by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Thessaloniki City, have gradually revealed the history of the settlement of Thessaloniki since the 4th century BC. until its most recent past.
Five excavations were carried out in 2016 in the main metro stations of the city, especially in the New Train Station, which for centuries was the commercial heart of the city.
The pre-Casandrino settlement from the 4th century BC. at Pylea station, the monumental complex at the junction of the main road from Roman Decumanus Maximus and Hagia Sophia, and the impressive burials in two old cemeteries spread over other stations, they have brought to light important discoveries.
These, the archaeologists comment, “complement our knowledge of the city since its creation in 316/317 BC. for him King Cassander of Macedon, on the development of a Libera civitas in Roman times, as co-capital of Constantinople and until its transformation into a Modern European city ».
It should be noted that Cassander of Macedonia, founder of the antipatrid dynasty, baptized the city Tsalonica because it was the name of his wife (Thessalonikē), half sister of Alexander the Great and princess of Macedonia by being daughter of Philip II.
At Pylea settlement it was probably one of the 26 small towns unified by Cassander to establish the city of Salonica. «The ancient settlement was designed with the Hippodamus urban planning system and is an excellent example of classical political and economic organization in the Thessaloniki region«, The researchers explained.
Also found (among the various excavations), an underground chapel excavated in solid rock and dedicated to Athena Ergane (as goddess of artisans), a square paved with marble and columns belonging to a circular portico and various public squares with arcades of half point.
«These monumental arrangements of public space, integrated into large-scale construction programs, date back to the 5th and 6th centuries, and remained in use until at least the 9th century.«Added the archaeologists.
«In Byzantine times, the shops and workshops that they opened on the street were built on top of the ruins of the square, and in fact, the archaeological finds show us the organized operation of a market in the place.
For their part, two cemeteries found at various stations in the city, they have been dated from the 4th century BC until the 7th century, and the huge number of funerary objects found indicate economic prosperity, luxurious lives, and various funeral customs.
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