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bstephe123283 t1_j446kil wrote

It's wild to me that there is anything at all left to discover in a land as small and anciently populated as Greece.


ProceedOrRun t1_j44bvs6 wrote

Even Rome is continuously discovering stuff every time a spade digs into the ground. There's a lot of history down there.


ThePrussianGrippe t1_j44zhk5 wrote

There was that British couple a few years ago that were doing some landscaping or other and found the entire floor plan of a Roman Villa.


Commander72 t1_j452pht wrote

Had a guide once in Rome, who said that's why their subway is so windy. Every time they start to dig a new tunnel they hit something historic they didn't know about.


achilleasa t1_j47rbv1 wrote

The subways here in Athens also found lots of ancient stuff, in fact some of the stations (the Acropolis station in particular) have it on display like a mini museum, it's pretty neat


bedstuybk t1_j45mpu3 wrote

Especially with regards to Ancient Rome, what i don’t understand is how it all got so buried in the first place. I mean… the place has been continuously occupied for thousands of years, so it’s not as if the whole city was just windswept and buried in 50 feet of sand like ancient Egyptian ruins. Did the Roman/Italian people just stop sweeping up for a very long time?

I know that’s overly-simplistic, but, still… people have been living there this whole time. How do entire buildings seem to just get swallowed into the earth?


ProceedOrRun t1_j45nxl9 wrote

They simply built on top of what was already there, and everyone else did to. Must have been easier than clearing everything away.


bedstuybk t1_j45obaq wrote

Well, i get that a bunch of stuff got built over, but didn’t they demolish the old stuff first? How do you build on top of these existing structures unless they were already buried— leading back to the question of how they got buried in the first place. I understand with a location such as Pompeii that got buried in a day or so in lava and volcanic ash, but that doesn’t explain other sites that remained occupied.

You make it sound like New New York in the show Futurama, where Old New York is literally just under the surface, decaying with the new city built on top, lol. I know that’s not what you’re saying, but i pictured that in my head.


Welshhoppo t1_j45oyik wrote

Rome is actually on a slight floodplain, so the city was prone to flooding. That brings in a whole load of muck and earth that covers the city. The modern Roman forum had to be dug out of the ground, it's a good sixty foot deep in places. The ground level was basically nearly the height of the temple of Antonius Pius.

During Late Antiquity and the Middle ages. Rome's population plummeted, as such there was no one around to prevent that from happening. No one is going to dig out large buildings when no one needs them to either live in, or to break down and use as supplies to build new buildings. It's how the majority of them survived.


bedstuybk t1_j45p635 wrote

Well, now, that explains a lot. Thanks for that info!


CodewordCasamir t1_j463pve wrote

It blew my mind how cities just continuously pile up on top of eachother. Look at the raising of Chicago or Mary King's Close in Edinburgh. Both are really fascinating especially Edinburgh.


limping_man t1_j48js3b wrote

Did people leave suddenly that so much was left in place to be covered etc?


Welshhoppo t1_j48qbs9 wrote


During the Gothic War under Justinian and Belisarius, Procopius suggests that the population of Rome dropped to zero and everyone was either dead or left.

Add to that the events of the Little Ice Age, the Justinianic plague, the Black Death, the many other sacks of Rome. There's plenty of times where the population would suddenly drop.


limping_man t1_j4a9j0z wrote

Super interesting comment. I know so little about this period

Where do I go to read about this that isn't too academic & above casual layman interest level? Thank you


elkourinho t1_j45jsm3 wrote

The thessaloniki metro in northern Greece has been having that issue for years and years. Athens metro also had it, naturally.


skullmatoris t1_j46cbbo wrote

This is why people don’t dig in Rome. If you find something, the government has to be called in and inspect, do a dig etc. People will literally just cover things up sometimes if they find artifacts


MeatballDom OP t1_j44eq3d wrote

There's a few factors at play.

One is, like you mention, how long people have lived there. So for a thing like a temple, you usually get it to last a bit longer as most people will venerate it and typically will want to make sure it lasts, especially those who worship or recognise that deity (though people like Herostratus have existed). But as time passes, and that religion is replaced, or new people move in that don't respect or recognise that god they might not care for the temple at all, or might deliberately destroy it, or simply start to use the stones and other such things to build their own things. Or they might decide it's a great place to store gunpowder and the Venetians might decide to fire upon your gunpowder supplies to keep you from firing back at them, you know, hypothetically.

But also you need to look at the geography and geology of Greece. There's a lot of hills and mountains, this has a lot of benefits for living there, but it also means there's a lot of stuff constantly going down from higher points of elevation to the lower parts where you might find more settlements. This can be just basic runoff, to landslides, to complete shifts in the land itself from earthquakes and just general plate tectonics. Look for example at how much the area around Thermopylae has changed

You also get even more violent events like volcanoes. Which is why places like Pompeii got covered completely. Of course the people living there knew it was there, and their descendants would hear about it and learn it was there, but overtime that direct knowledge was lost and while we had texts they weren't maps, and still only a small population would have been reading and familiar with these stories. The volcano still would keep up its attack and burry it further and further and further down overtime, as well as just that general passage of time.

And that comes back to the first point, how many people have continued living there. New homes, new buildings, new structures, etc. are built over places eventually too. And while there certainly have been times where it's been decided "well, we need to tear down your home and excavate this area" it's generally not a method that's utilised a lot.

And of course this isn't even describing every way things get lost over time: there's a lot more to it, but hopefully it gives you a sense of it all. And this means that there's a lot of cool stuff out there to be discovered. Some most of it probably never will be found. We still have mentions of entire towns and cities that we just don't know where they are. It could be a simple thing as "well, this source calls this town that we already know about by this weird name that was rarely used, it's not lost" some others are "yeah this place is just missing entirely." and it could be under a bunch of houses right now.


windsingr t1_j44i7x9 wrote

I find it classically Greek that a temple to Poseidon would be lost due to an earthquake.


omgshutupalready t1_j4871hy wrote

Apparently so, guess it's a thing. The islands of Kalymnos and Telendos used to be connected, with a Harbour and a town between. Then an earthquake in the 16th century split the islands in two. Nowadays, you're not allowed to scuba dive around there since they don't want tourists and randoms taking undiscovered ancient artifacts. Although I think it was more Christian ruins at that point.


ThePrussianGrippe t1_j44zl7u wrote

> Or they might decide it’s a great place to store gunpowder and the Venetians might decide to fire upon your gunpowder supplies to keep you from firing back at them, you know, hypothetically.

They say of the acropolis where the Parthenon is… that’d it’d make a bloody good armory.


HuudaHarkiten t1_j45oyon wrote

> They say of the acropolis where the Parthenon is...

I hope I wasnt the only one who sang this instead of reading it


[deleted] t1_j44ljtg wrote



boltforce t1_j45g56p wrote

Till this day I cannot count the number I have seen construction projects stopping because of ancient discoveries in Greece. Greek here.


Arisdoodlesaurus t1_j4517i4 wrote

I’m surprised any temple is still being found considering how determined the eastern Roman Empire and later Christians were in razing them to the ground


iVergos t1_j49dfv4 wrote

Greece is filled with things to be discovered. My hometown specifically is one of the more ancient cities of the country, just digging somewhere random would surface ruins or other ancient findings, to the point where contractors hide them so that they can continue working.


coreyredbeard t1_j449nls wrote

All hail Poseidon, may his blessing wash upon us.


[deleted] t1_j46y3w4 wrote



Cozimo64 t1_j49d8fi wrote

I initially read "Temple of Pokémon" as I scanned the title.

Bed time.