• Name: Paul McLerran
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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Dig Spotlight: The Lost City of Helike

For the sea was raised by an earthquake and it submerged Helike, and also the temple of Poseidon........

---- Strabo

In 373 B.C., a massive earthquake and associated tsunami destroyed and sunk the ancient Greek city of Helike on the shores of the Gulf of Corinth. With it went scores of bronze and marble works of classical sculpture. Throughout most of history, its remains and exact location remained lost to the world........until 2001, when explorers discovered traces of the city under an ancient lagoon. Thus far, the finds include the workshops and public buildings of a Hellenistic town, a long section of the Roman road between Corinth and Patras, and a well-preserved Bronze Age town with large structures and cobblestone streets. The evidence points to not one but two cities submerged in the same area by earthquakes, the first having occurred twenty centuries before the second sealed the fate of its Classical successor. Continuing investigations and excavations hold the promise of many more discoveries.

This summer, Professor Spyridon Marinatos, Director General of Antiquities for Greece, will be leading excavations at the ancient site. He is calling for volunteers to help in that effort. No experience is necessary. Members of the professional staff will provide all of the necessary training and oversight. Volunteers will stay at the Hotel Poseidon Beach in the village of Nikolaiika, not far from the excavation site. There will be opportunities to relax and enjoy the beach, as well.

If you are interested in this opportunity for education, discovery, and a unique working vacation in a Greek setting, visit the website for more information.


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