WWI Troops Found Ancient Greek Treasures While Digging Trenches
It is something of a running joke that you can’t dig anywhere in Greece without stumbling across some relic of the country’s ancient past.
Wartime is apparently no exception to this rule, as an exhibition dedicated to the sites and artifacts discovered by Allied forces during the trench warfare of World War I intends to demonstrate.
Entitled ‘Archaeology in a time of war’, the exhibition is being planned and organized by the Kilkis Antiquities Ephorate as its contribution to regional events marking the first centennial since the end of WWI and explores the finds made while digging the defensive trenches and the later archaeological digs that these inspired.
During their labors, the trench diggers in Polykastro, Axioupolis, Axiochori, Limnotopos and Pontoiraklia in Kilkis found the remains of ancient settlements and cemeteries dating from the early Iron Age (10th-7th century BC) right up to the Archaic era (6th century BC).
The finds on display include gold and copper jeweler from the graves of women, as well as ancient swords and spears buried with prehistoric warriors, discovered by their 20th-century counterparts in their efforts to create earthworks to protect themselves against powerful artillery.