It's been a while since I rounded up some archeology news, and since I'm well emerged in the technological wonderland called 'tablets' at the moment, I think it's time for archeological news with a technological twist to it.

Platonic Academy is getting a digital museum

The Akademia was founded by Plato around 387 BC, as the epicenter of his philosophical teachings. Aristotle was a student at the Akademia (Ἀκαδήμεια) for twenty years before founding his Lyceum. It survived through the Hellenic period, until 83 BC, although Plato's philosophies were taught there in some form or another until 529 AD. Needless to say, the place--located in Athens--has a lot of history connected to it. There is not much left but a few stones, but technology might be the key to bringing the Akademia back to life. The Archeology News Network reports:

"The project is being implemented under the title Academy of Plato: The City and the Citizen, put together by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, in cooperation with Foundation of the Hellenic World (FHW), Onassis Cultural Center of the Onassis Foundation and the Foundation for Youth and Lifelong Learning. The project is co-financed from National and European Funds through the operational program Education and Lifelong Learning."

What, exactly, the project will entail is unclear, but the project will be funded by the city of Athens, the costs being included in the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF).The Foundation of the Hellenic World will be implementing the project, however, in an effort to promote the importance of Platonic philosophy.

Thessaloniki might have found a solution for their Byzantine road

Back in March, I reported on a very troubling situation in Thessaloniki:

"Thessaloniki in modern day Greece is dealing with a situation: an excavation conducted by the 9th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities at the Venizelos station has brought to light a very well preserved 70-meter section of a marble-paved road, the remains of buildings dating back to the sixth to ninth centuries AD, as well as big public buildings of the 7th century; a rarity for the Byzantine world. Trouble is, the site of the find is part of a new subway tunnel and platform which are being built to transport 250,000 passengers daily, and thus decrease traffic congestion and air pollution in the city. The entire subway project has a price-tag of 3.5 billion euros (4.6 billion dollars), and was co-financed by the European Union. To keep the road, the entire subway project would have to be abandoned. To save the subway project, the road would need to be moved, or destroyed--the same thing, according to archeologists."

It seems that Thessaloniki might have found a solution to the problem: they are going to temporarily remove the finds during the station's construction and then restore about 85 percent to 95 percent after the station is completed. The solution proposed has a low cost--0,6 percent to 0.8 percent of the budget--with zero or only a few months delay to the works’ completion. Only a 45 square meter space (out of the area’s 1.600 square meters) will not be restored, due to the placement of vents and escalators. A perfect solution, it seems.

According to the Archeological News Network's article, the solution has been characterized as:

“Technically plausible in the first place” by the Thessaloniki Metro general manager Yiorgos Konstantinides, also stating that there will be a need for further study in order to make actual decisions."

Chamber’s president for Central Macedonia, Tasos Konaklidis, has commented that the plan will be handed in to the government and other authorities on the project, as the Chamber itself 'is not willing to be responsible for any additional delays to the construction'.

Personally, I'm very glad a consensus has been reached, and that the Roman road might be saved after all. No word from the archeological experts on the solution yet, so I'm not exactly sure if this solution is in the best interest of the road or not. Still, the image above, which shows how a section of the station might end up looking if the plan goes through, does look very appealing.

Image credit: Archaeological site of Plato's Academy [Credit: NewPost], and an illustration from the Technical Chamber proposal in relation to the Venizelou antiquities [Credit: To Vima]. Taken from their respective articles.