Lost Greek city dating back 2,500 years discovered by archaeologists

‘The fact that nobody has ever explored the hill before is a mystery’.
Archaeologists have discovered a 2,500-year-old lost city in Greece.

Researchers from the University of Gothenburg and University of Bournemouth have begun exploring the ruins at a village called Vlochos, five hours north of Athens.

While some of the ruins were already known, they had been dismissed as part of an irrelevant settlement on a hill, the leader of the team, Robin Ronnlund, said in a statement.

He added: “A colleague and I came across the site in connection with another project last year, and we realised the great potential right away.

“The fact that nobody has ever explored the hill before is a mystery.”

Fortress walls, towers and city gates are clearly visible from the air (SIA/EFAK/YPPOA)

The team found the remains of towers, walls and city gates on the summit and slopes of the hill. 

They hope to avoid excavation and use methods such as ground-penetrating radar instead, which will allow them to leave the site in the same condition as when they found it.

During their first two weeks of field work in September, they have discovered an ancient pottery and coins dating back to around 500 BC.

A fragment of red-figure pottery from the late 6th century BC (SIA/EFAK/YPPOA)

Mr Ronnlund said the city appears to have flourished from the fourth to the third century BC before it was abandoned — possibly because of the Roman conquest of the area.

He added: “Very little is known about ancient cities in the region, and many researchers have previously believed that western Thessaly was somewhat of a backwater during Antiquity.

“Our project therefore fills an important gap in the knowledge about the area and shows that a lot remains to be discovered in the Greek soil.”

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk

Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of Oceania Speaks on Safe Schools and Same Sex “Marriage”

The members of the 6th Episcopal Assembly of Oceania met in the Central Offices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia in Redfern, Sydney, on Thursday 8th December 2016 under the ex officio chairmanship of His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia.

Once again this Assembly provided the opportunity for the Hierarchs to recognise and reinforce their unity in the Orthodox faith.

Present were: His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos (Ecumenical Patriarchate); His Eminence Archbishop Paul (Antiochian Church); His Grace Bishop George (Russian Church); His Grace Bishop Siluan (Serbian Church); His Grace Bishop Mihail (Romanian Church); His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilochios (Ecumenical Patriarchate, New Zealand); His Grace Bishop Ezekiel (Assistant Bishop); His Grace Bishop Seraphim (Assistant Bishop); His Grace Bishop Nikandros (Assistant Bishop) and His Grace Bishop Iakovos (Assistant Bishop).

In the opening session, the Chairman, His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos of Australia welcomed all Hierarchs on behalf of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. He also welcomed His Grace Bishop Siluan from the Serbian Church who attended the Assembly for the first time and congratulated him for his recent elevation to the episcopacy.

Following this, Archbishop Stylianos expressed wholehearted congratulations to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the blessed occasion of his 25th anniversary as Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch.

Furthermore, Archbishop Stylianos made specific reference to the great success of the Great and Holy Synod held in June earlier this year in Crete. Despite negative voices from various quarters, prior to the Synod, Archbishop Stylianos noted that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, through his personal efforts and the courage of the Ecumenical Patriarchate convened a most successful Great and Holy Synod achieving what had not been accomplished over many centuries. This important event both affirmed the synodality of the Orthodox Church to the world and provided an opportunity to speak with a common voice on sensitive issues facing the modern world. Archbishop Stylianos took this opportunity to urge the faithful to read the official documents and the Encyclical issued by the Great and Holy Synod to the Orthodox faithful and the world at large.

Following this, all Hierarchs were provided with the opportunity to raise common concerns confronting the Orthodox Churches in Oceania and benefit from the experience of fellow bishops. In light of the discussion, the following decisions were rendered:

1. The Sacredness of Marriage: That the Christian understanding of marriage as a sacrament of the Church between a man and a woman – to the exclusion of others – drawing the couple closer to one another, to God and His eternal Kingdom be reaffirmed. In this context, it was noted that should the Marriage Act be changed, this would have destructive consequences on the institutions of Marriage and of the Family more generally. Once again, the significance of speaking with one common voice on this issue – together with others – was brought to the fore.

2. Safe Schools Program: The Assembly noted that even though the Safe Schools program introduced in Australia purports to be an anti-bullying initiative, nonetheless, the Assembly highlighted that the program is primarily concerned with exposing children and teenagers to material regarding gender fluidity contrary to the teaching of the Holy Bible and the Orthodox Church. For this reason, the Assembly denounced this program and considered it to be a vehicle of indoctrination in which process parents are being disempowered in the sexual education of their children.

3. Canonicity: It was decided to create a list of all non-canonical ‘Orthodox’ hierarchs and clergy in Australia and New Zealand to be published in the Assembly’s website.

4. University Chaplaincies: In light of proselytism that is taking place in Universities against Orthodox youth, it was decided to approach both the National Council of Churches of Australia and the respective State Councils in order to put an end to such practice by other Christian denominations. In this regard, the importance of establishing Orthodox University chaplaincies was also emphasized.

5. Orthodox Christian Hospital Chaplaincy Report: A report from the Coordinator, Mr Daniel Bellis was received with appreciation. This program coordinates visiting clergy and trains lay chaplains of all Orthodox Churches to offer pastoral care to different hospitals throughout Victoria. It was proposed that this Chaplaincy program be expanded to other Australian States.

The Assembly once again remembered and prayed for the safe return of the two kidnapped Hierarchs in Syria, the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Paul Yazigi (brother of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch) and the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop John Ibrahim. The Assembly expressed its concern with regards to the plight of the Orthodox Christian faithful in Syria and of all peoples of the Middle East.

Furthermore, the Assembly denounced the violence and bloodshed taking place throughout the world in the name of religion. It affirmed the importance of reminding the faithful that religion, far from dividing peoples, ought to unite them on the fundamental issues of human rights, social justice and peaceful co-existence. The importance of cultivating respect for all people irrespective of race, gender, language and religion was emphasised.

Source: http://youreteachingourchildrenwhat.org

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