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by Archaeology Newsroom

The archaeological investigation of sewage duct works in the city of Rhodes. Surprises and questions

The rescue archaeological investigations during the opening of the trenches for the installation of the city of Rhodes main sewage duct brought to light important new finds.

During the rescue excavation in the trench on Demetriou Anastasiadi street, some cist graves, caskets as well as two chamber tombs were investigated. They belong to the eastern sector of the urban neckropoleis extending to the south-east of the Hellenistic wall; an exquisite gold olive wreath was found in a small cist grave belonging to the 4th century BC. Approximately two kilometres south of the Karakonero funerary emplacements, on the western side of the road to Kallithea, a rectangular rock-hewn courtyard approached by steps of a Late Hellenistic funerary monument was researched; many grave members were collected bearing rich inscriptional evidence for the family of ΜΕΛΩΝΟΣ ΑΡΙΣTOKPITOY ΝΕΤΤΙΔΑ. In 1986, seven hundred metres to the west of the outlet of the main sewage duct at Cape Vodi (about five kilometres away from the city of Rhodes), pieces of a Late Hellenistic relief composition were found.The lower part of this composition was found in situ forming part of the southern of two parallel flanking walls which have not as yet been fully investigated. The composition has been worked on in three adjoining marble slabs and depicts a central frontal figure of a hero-warrior holding his sword and standing in front of his horse between two servant boys. The upper part of the composition, which would have been worked on one or more separate slabs, is missing. The above composition dates from the 1st century BC. Two years later, in 1988, three pieces of a large grave stele were found buried under a huge accumulation of earth a few metres away from the site where the Late Hellenistic composition had been discovered. The stele can be said to date from the first half of the 5th century BC. It depicts a young boy offering a rooster to a young man in a fine scene of tender allegory.

The rescue excavations during the construction of the city of Rhodes’ main sewage ducts required close cooperation between the Archaeological Service and the Local Administrative Authority responsible for the project.