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Ancient paved way discovered at Megalo Kavouri beach

A 300-metre section of an ancient carriage way dated to the 4th century BC was discovered by archaeologists at the Megalo Kavouri beach in the southern suburb of Vouliagmeni, the ministry of Culture announced on Monday.

The road, paved with small stones placed close to one another, varies in width from 1.90 metres to 6.10 metres. It is delineated by retaining walls on either side that also serve to keep the pavement stable, as the earth underneath is soft and sandy.

At its widest point, and resting on a retaining wall, were found the foundations of a rectangular building with a floor that resembles the road, leading archaeologists to believe it was constructed at the same time as the road. Both were in use throughout the 4th century BC, as evidence of pottery and coins shows.

The road appears to have linked the ancient deme of Aixonidai Alon with the beach, and to have connected to a greater road network, parts of which have been discovered at several sites along the coast. The network included a greater road linking Athens with Sounion - the southernmost point of the Attica peninsula - and a road that followed the coast from Faliro to Voula, southwest to southeast of Athens.

Excavations began within a general NSRF-funded project to improve the area of Megalo Kavouri, and were later funded by Greek shipowner Athanassios Martinos, whose support allowed the completion of an archaeological park at Megalo Kavouri beach. Excavations are under the ministry's Ephorate of Antiquities of Western Attica, Piraeus and the Islands (formerly the 26th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities).