Mycenaean Acropolis of Gla to Be Promoted by Region

The National Herald Archive

(Photo by Wikipedia/Athinaios)

Archaeological research on the prehistoric Acropolis of Gla (or Glas) in Boeotia will resume, following an agreement between the Ministry of Culture and Prefect of Mainland Greece Costas Bakoyiannis publicized on Monday.

The agreement includes plans to protect and promote the area, while the ministry's Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities Department and the local antiquities ephorate will assume the supervision of the ancient site.

The site was inhabited in the Neolithic period, and was situated on a rocky outcrop forming an island in the middle of Lake Kopais. In the 13th century, Mycenaeans undertook a massive project to drain the lake, gradually adding to Gla massive defense ("Cyclopean") walls, a megaron of two rooms and storage areas. The walls enclosed an area of 20 hectares (200 stremmas), ten times the length of the walls in Tiryns and Athens, and seven times that of Mycenae.

The site appears to have been built exclusively as housing for individuals related to the project, unlike other citadels. Gla was considered one of three major palatial centers in Boeotia, along with Thebes and Orchomenos.

After the fall of Mycenaean culture by around 1200 BC, the water channels fell into disuse and eventually the lake filled up again, until it was permanently drained in the early 20th century.

Gla was dug lastly by the late professor Spyros Iakovidis, who also published the results of earlier excavations on the site.

"It is our responsibility to promote our hidden treasures from end to end of the country," Bakoyiannis said. "The Mycenaean acropolis of Gla is yet another magnificent monument that will be promoted and protected by the regional authority," he added.