THESSALONIKI, Greece – Archaeologists in Greece’s second-largest city have uncovered a 230-foot section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was the city’s main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago.
The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for Thessaloniki’s new subway system, which is due to be completed in four years. The road in the northern port city will be raised to be put on permanent display when the metro opens in 2016.
The excavation site was shown to the public Monday, when details of the permanent display project were also announced.
Viki Tzanakouli, an archaeologist working on the project, said the Roman road was about 1,800 years old, while remains of an older road built by the Greeks 500 years earlier were found underneath it.
“We have found roads on top of each other, revealing the city’s history over the centuries,” Tzanakouli said. “The ancient road and side roads perpendicular to it appear to closely follow modern roads in the city today.”
About 23 feet below ground, the ancient road follows roughly the same path as the modern Egnatia Avenue.
In 2008, workers discovered more than 1,000 graves, some filled with treasure.
The subway work, started in 2006, present a rare opportunity for archaeologists to explore under the densely populated city, which has also caused years of delays for the project.