Three ancient quarries for the mining of Karystos shale marble were discovered this week, according to an announcement from the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports. The fantastic discoveries were made during the installation of new wind turbine parks in Karystos, Evia.
The wind turbines were being installed by the ENEL and Silsio companies in the area of Anatoli in the Kafireas Region, and at Trikorfo, Marmari. The areas are under the supervision of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Evia.
The ancient quarry of Anatoli in Kafireas (above photo), when unearthed, revealed two main faces of rock which had been partially covered with dirt that had accumulated over the years. The principal rock faces used for mining are at different heights, carved into the side of the mountain.
Large rectangular blocks were also scattered around the immediate area. While the area was being cleaned by archeologists, two columns were spotted under a layer of fine mining gravel. Half of each column had crumbled away into the stone chips.
The Anatoli wind park installation and construction is being managed by the ENEL company, and the plot of land is located northwest of the village of Amygdalia.
The ancient quarry of Trikorfo was discovered just above the main road where the Silsio company is also installing wind turbines.
The Trikorfo quarry is located high up on a rocky hillside, where archeologists have thus far uncovered two small faces of rock which were the setting of mining activities. Some box-shaped carvings were also discovered on the rock below, as well as “mining gravel” which consists of distinctive shapes of rock chips which are only found at mining sites.
The second ancient quarry of Trikorfo was found northwest of the first mine. This site is believed to be significantly larger in size than the first, boasting three large “Π” shaped carvings, and tall, sheer faces of rock carved into the hillside.
There was additional evidence of mining there as well, with three large rock chip piles in the area. In addition, three half-finished columns were discovered on the ground of the quarry’s main area.
There were also other structures uncovered, such as a small circular object which might have been used for collecting water. It was covered with slate slabs, believed to have been used for washing mining tools.
The discoveries of the ancient marble quarries of Karystos demonstrates how important the city was in ancient years. There was once intensive quarrying of marble in this region, mostly throughout the Roman period, during the days of Julius Caesar and Augustus.
Karystian marble was very popular in Rome, and was used extensively in building monolithic pillars, including those still standing in the Roman Agora in Rome. This same stone can also be seen in pillars in Athens, at Hadrian’s Library in Monastiraki.