NewsGreece, Delos Island at risk: Ancient ruins threatened by rising waters

Greece, Delos Island at risk: Ancient ruins threatened by rising waters

The island of Delos is located between the islands of Rinia and Mykonos.
The island of Delos is located between the islands of Rinia and Mykonos.
Images source: © Adobe Stock

11:02 AM EDT, June 13, 2024

Greek media reported disturbing news about one of the small islets in the Aegean Sea. According to experts, this location, which hosts an archaeological site listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, is at risk of disappearing.

Delos is a small, rocky islet in the Cyclades archipelago. In ancient times, it was known as Ortygia. Greek media indicate its future is in danger.

Experts have no illusions

Although Delos is currently uninhabited, its ancient ruins attract many tourists. For archaeologists, these ruins provide significant insights into the lives of ancient Greeks and Romans from the region. However, experts warn that the archaeologists from the École française d’Athènes, who have been excavating there for over 150 years, don't have much time to study the island.

Delos is doomed to disappear, declared Veronique Chankowski, the organization's director in Athens, as the Greek City Times quoted. Experts unanimously agree that the island's submersion is inevitable within the next few decades. Chankowski mentioned that this could happen within 50 years.

Bad news from Greece

Greek media reports that the water level has risen by 66 feet in some places over a decade. Each year, the water gets closer to the ruins, seeps into the foundations, and causes the walls to collapse. High summer temperatures and sunlight also negatively impact the remnants of the ancient buildings.

Jean-Charles Moretti, the director of the archaeological work at the Delos excavation site, shared that the walls are increasingly collapsing every spring.

Additionally, the tiny island suffers damage from tourists who arrive from Mykonos. While exploring, they often wander beyond designated paths. Archaeologists confirm unanimously that protecting these ancient monuments is becoming increasingly complex, if not impossible.

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