Greek archaeologists discover long lost marble friezes in Acropolis

Greek archaeologists on Friday said they had discovered five long lost friezes from the 2,500 year old Parthenon in the walls of the ancient Acropolis.

The friezes, which had been taken away to be used as building materials for the ancient Acropolis which at one point served as a fortress, were located along its southern walls by a weather balloon camera, officials at the Culture Ministry said.

The fragments were detected by air during a vertical scan of the walls of the Acropolis by the Culture Ministry, where a total of 2,250 photographs were taken.

The Parthenon has suffered extensive damage over the centuries and archaeologists believed many of the friezes adorning the southern part of the temple were destroyed after it was bombed during a 17th century Venetian siege of Ottoman-held Athens or taken.

Most of the interior walls of the temple, apart from the west end, were destroyed during the bombing, bringing many of the friezes and metopes down with them.

In the early 19th century, British diplomat Lord Elgin tore down a large number of the remaining friezes from the Parthenon and shipped them to Britain.

The artifacts were sold to the British Museum, which has since refused to relinquish the sculptures, insisting the transaction was legal. The sculptures include depictions of religious and mythological scenes.

Greece remains steadfast in its demand for the permanent return of the Parthenon Marbles to the new museum in Athens but the British government and museum has refused, arguing that the marbles are more accessible to visitors in London.

At a cost of 120 million euros (160 million dollars), the new museum is the Greek government's key argument for the return of the Parthenon, or Elgin, marbles from Britain.

Originally posted: Archaeology News

1 comment:

  1. I'm very intrigued by this find - not least that they only discovered it so recently, despite the hugely detailed surveys carried out during the course of the current excavations.

    It will be very interesting to see if these pieces match up with any of the other surviving Parthenon Sculptures, or whether they are damaged beyond recognition.