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Rare Prehistoric Jar Salvaged by Special Fire Service Forces in Greece

Rare Prehistoric Jar Salvaged by Special Fire Service Forces in Greece

A unit of the special fire service forces was called to salvage a rare prehistoric jar from the river bank of Acheloos near the city of Arta, in the region of Epirus, northwestern Greece.

The Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta had located the rare find on an inaccessible slope by the river and asked the local fire brigade for help. A six-man unit descended the slope to carefully collect and salvage the ancient artefact.

A press release signed by the Head of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta, Dr Varbara Papadopoulou, explains that the salvaged ceramic jar is an unpainted handmade pithos made of impure clay, preserved in large contiguous sections and damaged by river floods.

Pithos is the ancient Greek name of a type of large ceramic storage container used among Mediterranean civilizations in the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, usually for bulk storage of fluids and grains, but also as coffins for the bones of the interred.

“The find is related to the prehistoric settlement at the site of Agios Vasilios of Piges, where finds from the same period (Middle and Late Bronze Age, 2nd millennium BC) have also been found. Its importance lies in its location outside the known limits of the prehistoric settlement, probably testifying to a larger location,” the announcement adds, before expressing the Ephorate’s thanks to the men who successfully operated at the location.

The modern city of Arta is built on the site of ancient Ambracia, which was a colony of the Corinthians. Remains of classical antiquity include the ancient walls of the city, the ruins of an ancient temple of Apollo, a small theatre, and remnants of a cemetery.

Many Byzantine churches survive in Arta, such as the Panagia Paregoretissa (Mother of God the Consoling), built about 1290 by Despot Nikephoros I Komnenos Doukas. Remains of other ancient Greek settlements have been found on the banks of the rivers Arachthos and Acheloos near Arta, where archaeological research is ongoing.