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Acropolis Opens Ancient Neighborhood in Greece

2019-6-29

Greece’s Acropolis Museum has opened an excavation area under its modern-day building. For the first time, visitors will be able to walk through an ancient Athenian neighborhood that survived from Classical to Byzantine times.

The museum’s base rests on heavy pillars. Below it is a neighborhood of excavated homes, workshops, baths and streets. Most of the remains were found when the museum was being built.

The Acropolis Museum director, Dimitris Pantermalis, recently spoke about the newly opened area with Reuters reporters.

A part of an ancient neighborhood is seen at the newly opened archaeological site underneath the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece, June 21, 2019. (REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)
A part of an ancient neighborhood is seen at the newly opened archaeological site underneath the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece, June 21, 2019. (REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis)

“Visitors can come down and see ancient ruins of the city of Athens, especially in the area south of the Acropolis” he said.

Visitors will see luxurious ancient houses, some of which included rooms where bathers could warm up before entering heated pools.

“It was fascinating, an amazing experience,” said Carol Hoover, a recent visitor from the American state of Colorado. He said he was most interested in the special floor design and the complex drainage system of ancient Greece.

The Acropolis Museum has brought in more than 14 million visitors since it opened doors 10 years ago.

The museum sits at the edge of the Acropolis hill in Athens. Inside are many sculptures created in ancient Greece, including works from one of the most influential buildings in Western civilization, the Parthenon.

But one thing is missing.

Greece has repeatedly called on Britain to return the Parthenon marbles, or, as they are often called, the Elgin Marbles. The sculptures were taken from the Parthenon by Thomas Bruce, the Seventh Earl of Elgin, in the early 19th century. The Elgin Marbles are on display at the British Museum in London.

Greece has asked for their return for almost 200 years.

I’m Susan Shand.

The Reuters News Agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

excavation – n. to uncover (something) by digging away and removing the earth that covers it

pillar – n. a large post that helps to hold up something

luxurious – adj. very comfortable and expensive

pool – n. a small area of water

fascinating – adj. very interesting or appealing

amazing – adj. causing great surprise or wonder

sculpture - n. a piece of art that is made by carving or molding clay, stone, metal

drainage – n. the act or process of removing water or liquid from a place or thing

marbles – n. sculptures made from stone

display – v. to show