CORINTH, Greece – An ambitious plan to unite all the archeological sites of Ancient Corinth would make them more accessible to tourists, allowing them to embrace the history of one of the largest and most important ancient cities of Greece, British Archeologist Guy Sanders, director of the American School of Classical Studies, told New Europe at the main archeological site of Corinth.
“One of the things we’ve been working on over the last couple of years is to make a management plan for the whole of Corinth that will embrace the whole city within the walls, which includes the Castle of Acrocorinth, which was the acropolis of the city and the main archeological site of Corinth, which includes the Temple of Apollo and the Harbour of the Ancient City, which is down on the coast,” Sanders said, referring to the ancient port of Corinth in Lechaion where impressive findings were revealed.
“What we’d like to do is make a way that this becomes sustainable by guiding tourists towards the three different parts of the site. But also to make sure that the monuments are in a good state of repair, properly conserved so that the future generations can enjoy the cultural heritage,” the Scottish archeologist added.
Walking past the Temple of Apollo to the Frankish area of the main archeological site of Corinth that was dug by his colleague Charles Williams back in the late 1980s and 1990s, Sanders remembered that this was the first place that he dug when he came to work in Corinth having worked elsewhere in the Mediterranean. “I dug a trench over there beyond the wall back in 1986,” he said.
“This is part of our bigger management plan for the site. We’re fixing a medieval part of the site of Corinth recently excavated so that tourists can visit and understand what life was like in the medieval world. Over here, there is a church complex with a series of buildings around it,” he said. “And in front of me, we have got a large medieval house with a central courtyard.
“And all these come with interesting objects and stories that we can tell about the daily lives of Corinthians. This will be one of the very few medieval houses that you can visit anywhere within Greece and you can come here and see it set up against the medieval castle in Acrocorinth. But also you can walk down into the Roman forum and understand how life has gone on between the 1st Century CE and the 14th Century where we are standing at the moment,” Sanders said.
“It’s finding new stories from old material. It’s digging basements and storage rooms rather than digging dirt,” he said.
“Guy has been a major proponent in describing and discussing the whole history of Corinth,” said his colleague, Archeologist Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst, who also accompanied us at the site.
“Starting from the Neolithic that we were digging, sixth millennium, fourth millennium, all the way, all the accumulation through time here, coming to this medieval period and even going to the Nineteenth Century houses that we have, that they used for storage,” she told New Europe. “This is to show how Corinth was very important through time and an important place through time,” she added.
“This is great place to dig,” Sanders said. “Here, we’re standing in the Medieval Corinth and looking up at Acrocorinth and the medieval Castle on top of it.”
(By Kostis Geropoulos/New Europe/Used by permission)