Construction activities across Corinth’s coastal plain and Isthmus have frequently turned up spectacular remains of the city’s Greek and Roman past. Large-scale construction projects like the highways and rails especially have generated discoveries and led to salvage excavations. While salvage excavation employ methods that are not ideal, they do generate discoveries that end up in synthetic assessments of the Corinthia and contribute in aggregate to a greater knowledge of the city. Visit Wiseman’s Land of the Ancient (1978), for instance, and you’ll find numerous reports of sites found through construction projects in the territory.
In recent years, the construction of the high-speed railway and the new Corinth-Patras highway has cut through a number of amazing contexts. The construction of the high-speed railway nearly a decade ago led to the discovery of remarkable sarcophagi buried several meters deep in the soils immediately north of Ancient Corinth. The building of the new Patras-Corinth highway has likewise turned up interesting remains. A year ago July, Το Βήμα announced the discovery of the Archaic wall. And Friday’s issue of Το Βήμα announced a new Roman tomb discovered in January during the construction of the same highway.
The underground chamber tomb is evidently dated to the 3rd century AD and measures about 2-1/2 meters in length and width. It has exceptional wall paintings with paints still preserved and two decorated sarcophagi. While one of the sarcophagi is not well preserved, the other contains a picture of a beautiful young woman lying on a bed. There are painted garlands, flowers, bows, and a peacock.
Interestingly, there are plans to transfer the tomb for display to the archaeological site of Corinth.
I am curious about the dating of the tomb – is this an argument from stylistic grounds? As the third century has been remembered as a pretty dismal time in the Mediterranean, this discovery would provide another glimmer of private investment and wealth.
Thanks to Vassiliki Pliatsika for posting this to the Corinthian Studies facebook group.