Posted by Christos Kavathas on January 21, 2003 at 17:27:44:
In Reply to: Re: building a new house on top of archeological ruins - more details posted by JWmHarmon on January 20, 2003 at 19:07:30:
Thanks for your feedback. The site is in the center of Athens, very close to the Acropolis. The excavation is in progress now and is performed by archeologists assigned by the ministry of culture. Any important findings are taken away to museums, but walls etc are left in place. Findings left in place cannot be bought or moved. So far we have uncovered the footprint of a roman house, with one painted wall, about 1m high, a base of a statue, some pottery, coins and a lot of fragments. The excavation continues and-unless we hit a major find- will be comleted in about one month.
Athens is built on top of the ancient city of Athens, so it is very common to find ruins while digging for foundations. Since the ruins in Athens are too numerous to restore and maintain, the current practice is to excavate a site, photograph, catalog and then cover it with concrete (left to future generations to posibly uncover) and then allow for building on top of the site.
The archeologists are generally receptive to the idea of leaving the ruins exposed so they can visit them in the future, but probably not to the idea of incorporating them in a living area. I.e. a glass enclosed wall may be possible, or a basement that can be visited but not lived in. In any case the proposal must make sense to them, otherwise they could suggest to cover the ruins to "protect" them.
The proposed new construction will probably emphasize the differences between the old and the new and if we are allowed to start 1m above the roman walls we should not have a problem. Construction here is usually done with concrete. This is a relatively small house - about 220 sq m (2200 sq ft) in two floors plus another 100 sq m of basement (or semibasement if we are allowed to expose the ruins), 155 sq m land parcel, 70% coverage- and it can be supported in the perimeter only. The ruins start at about 1m below surface.
I will probably have some pictures of the site tomorrow and will try to post them.
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