Lost City Discovered In Greece

The ruins of a submerged town covering an area of 30,000 square metres off the southern Peloponnese in Greece has now been surveyed by marine archaeologists. Although it was discovered by an oceanographer 40 years ago, it is only now that it can be properly surveyed, thanks to digital technology.

Known as Pavlopetri, the sunken settlement dates back some 5,000 years to the time of Homer's heroes and in terms of size and wealth of detail is unprecedented, experts say. It is believed to have been consumed by the sea around 1000 BC. Some are even linking it with the lost city of Atlantis.

"There is now no doubt that this is the oldest submerged town in the world," said Dr Jon Henderson, associate professor of underwater archaeology at the University of Nottingham. "It has remains dating from 2800 to 1200 BC, long before the glory days of classical Greece. There are older sunken sites in the world but none can be considered to be planned towns such as this, which is why it is unique."

Thanks to the fact that the settlement is located in a protected bay and to shifting sands, the explorers were able to discover a world of buildings, courtyards, main streets, rock-cut tombs and religious structures. Thousands of shards of pottery were also discovered in the seabed.

"We found ceramics dating back to the end of the stone age, which suggested that the settlement was occupied some 5,000 years ago, at least 1,200 years earlier than originally thought," said Henderson, who co-directed the underwater survey.

"Our investigations also revealed over 9,000 square meters of new buildings. But what really took us by surprise was the discovery of a possible megaron, a monumental structure with a large rectangular hall, which also suggests that the town had been used by an elite, and automatically raised the status of the settlement."

More than any other underwater site so far, the find offers potential insights into the workings of Mycenaean society.

It has yet to be understood why the settlement sank. Theories include sea level changes, ground subsidence as the result of earthquakes, or a tsunami. It is, however, the first time a sunken city has been found in Greece that predates the time that Plato wrote his tale of the sunken continent of Atlantis.

Via: Guardian

George Papandreou - The Right Person At The Right Time?

Now I don't normally get involved in politics - I haven't seen much there to really inspire me, but I do get the feeling that George Papandreou, the new Greek prime minister (seen above arriving at the first ministerial meeting yesterday), is sincerely trying to turn things in Greece. Normally I wouldn't use the words 'sincere' and 'politician' in the same sentence, but here I think the optimist in me is getting the better of the cynic.

He seems intent on changing the understanding of the purpose of a government - that it should be there just to serve, support and respect the people. At the first meeting of the new ministers he invited the head of the Citizens Counsel organisation (an NGO which looks after the interests of the citizens) to come and address the new ministers for 30 minutes, telling them of people's concerns - mainly with the public administration. This, to me, was a bold and innovative move which helped underline that the essence of what they were doing was to serve the people.

He went on to ask the ministers to disband the innumerable committees which have been set up and which seem to have no purpose other than to be a 'nice little earner' for some people and a way to do and return favours. This will save the state about 150 million Euros a year - not a huge amount in the general scheme of things, but good housekeeping nonetheless.

The minister for the newly formed ministry of Environment, Energy & Climate Change, Tina Birbila is highly experienced in the field and an author. It was refreshing to see this young lady relatively casually dressed with her backpack slung over her shoulder at the swearing in of the ministers.

Papandreou is not (comparatively) a party animal (political party). He is open to working with anyone who can help provide solutions. He is also consulting with international experts to help kick-start the dire economy here.

As I said above, I do not like the world of politics but I have so far been impressed. I know it will take a lot for a change in mentality and attitude to filter through all the levels of public administration, especially, but there is a strong feeling that the first steps have been taken. To me it seems that this may be the beginning of a turning-point in this country and that indeed George Papandreou is the right man at the right time.


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