GREEK Ancient Ruins are getting destroyed
Africa’s Largest Ancient Greek Site
Cyrene, a colony of the Greeks of Thera founded in 632 BC, was one of the principal cities in the Hellenic world. Romanized in 74 BC, Cyrene remained a great city, with over one thousand years of rich history until the earthquake of 365. Cyrene, which was described by geographers from Herodotus to Synesius, its praises sung Pindar and Callimachus, is not only one of the cities of the Mediterranean around which myths, legends and stories have been woven over more than a thousand years, but it is also one of the most impressive ruin complexes in the entire world. GHF’s goal is master conservation planning and emergency conservation of Cyrene’s amphitheatre, GIS mapping of archaeological area and conservation training.
Despite efforts by Italian archaeological ‘summer’ missions in research, documentation and restoration over the past 60 years, Cyrene has fallen into disrepair and into the hands of nature’s and man’s destruction. With an annual budget for the entire site and staff salaries of less than $30,000 per year, and with only four trained conservation professionals on staff for a 160 acre site, Cyrene has fallen into the hands of nature’s and man’s destruction.
|Above: Temple of Zeus (BC600), the largest Greek pantheon outside of Athens, was restored for the world by the Italians under two missions since the 1960s. It now has been nearly abandoned with no maintenance or guardians, and is facing deterioration of its exposed rusting iron bars and aging reinforced concrete, which in itself has brought its own problems to this priceless archaeological treasure of the Classic world.|
|Above: The ‘sister’ site of Apollonia in nearby Susa on the Mediterranean was one of the most important sites of the ancient Greek Pentapolis. Its stunning seaside location and multiple ancient Greek and Roman ruins provide a priceless tourism opportunity and should be integrated into Cyrene’s UNESCO World Heritage designation.|