A New Reality in the Greek Archaeological Landscape: Early Byzantine Towns and Their Luxurious Residencies
Although partial protection of Byzantine antiquities was established already by the Law of 1834, it took many years before archaeologists and architects of that time stopped neglecting the Byzantine monuments. For more than a century, the exhaustive and almost exclusive study of frescoes and of religious architecture by many generations of Greek archaeologists and art-historians left no place for the study of secular monuments and objects of everyday life. Since the beginning of the 1990’s however, a new reality arose in the Greek archaeological landscape. Rescue or systematic excavations and intensive surveys turned the interest of the scholars to the transformation processes of the Greek cities from the 4th to the 6th c. A.D., to the luxurious residencies built during this period and finally to their abandonment or their reuse for various purposes at the end of the 6th and the beginning of the 7th c. Two particularly interesting cases of Greek cities will be presented here, one continental (Delphi) and one insular (Thasos).