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Greece: Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday

Theopetra(ANA) Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday The opening to the public of the prehistoric Theopetra Cave in Trikala prefecture, will be marked with a concert on Friday. Theopetra Cave is a famous archaeological site, and the first excavated cave in Thessaly, with excavations starting in 1987 and continuing to the present. Its deposits begin in the Middle Paleolithic period and continue without gaps until the end of the Neolithic period (3000 BC). Its uniqueness is that in contains, within a single site, the records of two greatly significant cultural transitions: The replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans, and the later transition from hunter-gathering to farming after the end of the last Ice Age. The cave, situated just three kilometers from Meteora, consists of an immense 500 square meter rectangular chamber at the foot of a limestone hill, which rises to the northeast above the village of Theopetra, with a very big entrance 17m wide by three metres high. It lies at the foot of the Chasia mountain range, which forms the natural boundary between Thessaly and Epirus prefectures, while the Lithaios River, a tributary of the Pineios River, flows in front of the cave. Excavations, which have been systematically carried out, have unearthed light geological deposits dating to the Pleistocene and Holocene periods as well as anthropogenic deposits, indicating that the cave had been continuously inhabited during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods. Specimens found, such as coal and human bones, prove that the cave was occupied from about 50,000 BC to 4000 BC, and that temporary use continued during the Bronze Age and historic times up to 1955. Even after that the cave was used occasionally to by shepherds to shelter their herds right up until the excavations began. It is the first time that cave dwelling was recorded in Thessaly during the Palaeolithic period. Continue reading

Greece: Winter Destinations

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Breathtaking cliffs and mountains, rugged scenery, lakes, picturesque villages, and traditional architecture make central Greece one of the most beautiful regions in the country, offering outdoor enthusiasts plenty of opportunities for rock climbing and hiking, mountain skiing, kayaking, rafting, biking as well as cave exploration.  Evrytania, at the southern end of the Pindos mountain range, being dubbed “Greece’s Switzerland” is a very popular destination during the winter months. One can visit the Velouchi skiing centre at an elevation of 1,800 meters, the Mikro and Megalo Horio, two well-known villages, Proussos village, best known for its old monastery with the famous icon of Our Lady of Proussos and the Koryschades settlement which hosted the elected National Assembly, in May 1944, during the German occupation. AthensPlus: The ultimate winter destination  (p.42)  Meteora (meaning “suspended in the air”) in the region of Thessaly, is known for the complex of 24 monasteries on the top of impressive rock towers, a strange but breathtaking landscape that has been sculpted by wind and water over thousands of years. These smooth, vertical rocks have become a favourite destination for rock climbers who can truly appreciate the feat of the 9th century hermits who first climbed them to settle in the caves and fissures of the rocks. The site is included in the UNESCO World Heritage listTrikala, at the foothills of Mt Koziakas, on the eastern side of the Pindos mountain range, is a mostly pedestrian’s town on the banks of river Lithaios. One of the highlights of the town is the 16th century Kursum mosque, a protected UNESCO Heritage site, now used as an exhibition hall. Mt Koziakas and Acheloos river are part of the European Natura 2000 network of protected natural habitats.AthensPlus – Trikala, halfway to heaven  (p.42)

Vote for Greek Natural Wonders

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    The Petrified Forest of Lesvos, the Meteora Rocks, Mount Olympus, and Santorini, Archipelago are candidates for the list of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, to be compiled next summer in an online poll. The voting procedure of all candidates will be completed on July 7, 2009, when the 77 partaking sites will be chosen. Afterwards, 21 of them will be elected and the vote will be repeated. The final declaration of the New7Wonders of Nature will be in 2010. The New Seven Wonders of Nature: Vote for your nominee; Live Ranking: see the Top 77 of today; New7Wonders of Nature Nominees Europe