Where the railway respectfully meets the past.
In case of archaeological findings, in cooperation with the competent Ephorates of Antiquities, the most suitable solution is sought in order to protect and promote our cultural inheritance.
In most cases, archaeological excavations are carried out, the expenses are covered by the budget of the railway project, and the subsequent actions and technical solutions (photographs, design, electronic documentation, maintenance, security, restoration, promotion, etc.) are decided per case, taking into account the importance of the archaeological findings.
Some of the cases of extensive archaeological excavation that are carried out as part of railway projects construction are listed below.
At the “Tria Platania” site, in front of the south entrance of the railway tunnel, a Greek edifice was discovered, in the form of a farm building.
At the “Krania” site, under the hill of Platamonas castle, various Roman Hellenistic-Classical-Geometric-Prehistoric phases were discovered, one under the other, most likely related to ancient Heraklion and the ancient city harbour.
The findings during the construction of a grade separated crossing at the Thiva-Mourikiou Road clearly confirmed that the project was crossing over the ancient cemeteries of Thebes, which date back to 1000 BC until the Roman Empire Era.
In the area of the new bridge of Gallikos Potamos, along the Thessaloniki-Alexandroupoli line, an ancient cemetery was discovered, together with a settlement dating back to the Early Iron Age (10th-7th century BC), as well as a cemetery dating back to the Archaic and Classical Era (6th-4th century BC). The ancient kiln discovered was transported to a new location before resuming the works along the line.
In the Corinth Canal area, the new railway line includes a bridge crossing over the Justinian’s Wall, which is maintained and promoted in order to allow tourist visits.
Derveni junction – Bath dating back to the Late Roman Era (2nd century AD)
All the findings indicate that this was a public bath, of which the areas for lukewarm or hot baths have been discovered.
The discovery of the bath is of particular importance, since it is the only visible archaeological finding in the area, with many elements preserved pointing to the construction of this type of edifices.
Derveni Junction – Protohelladic settlement
During excavations carried out in order to construct the foundation of a retaining wall at a location where there used to be an asphalt road, remains of a settlement were discovered dating back to the Protohelladic II Era (2600/2500-2200/2100 BC). Walls constructed with unwrought stones were revealed, which define mostly small areas.
The identification of this particular site is of particular archaeological interest for Western Corinthia, since till then there had been no indications of habitation for that particular time period.
Mavra Litharia Area (Evrostini Municipality)
While making trial cuts with mechanical means as part of a preventive soil check, two box-shaped tombs were discovered, cut into the natural ground, which revealed substantial findings. Specifically, tomb 2 contained two gold rings, eighteen gold leaf-shaped pieces of jewellery, parts of silver vases, myrrh vases, strigils and oil lamps. During the systematic excavation search of the site, another tomb was discovered, containing funeral gifts such as oil lamps, a myrrh vase and a copper mirror. The tombs date back to the Late Hellenistic-Roman Era.
Trapeza Tunnel (Diakofto Municipality)
In Trapeza, at the entrance of escape tunnel SD2 of Trapeza Tunnel, an ancient settlement was discovered, dating back to the 6th-3rd century BC.The excavation revealed building remains and parts of two ancient roads, as well as large quantities of pottery, vases, coins, metal and clay ones.
Platanos Tunnel (Diakofto Municipality)
In Platanos, at the escape tunnel ΟΧ2 of Platanos Tunnel, unlooted tile-roofed tombs dating back to the Early Christian Era (4th-7th century AD)