|Google Earth image of eastern Thessaly and the area of the rescue excavations|
|Hellenistic country house with rooftile kiln at the Amygdali site|
|Hellenistic country house at the Tserli site|
|A mold-made relief bowl from the Tserli site|
What Price Renewable Energy and Development in Greece?
Greece, with its abundant exposure to the sun and its need to develop its economy to help it climb up out of the financial debt pit it dug itself into, certainly is an ideal place for energy production from the sun’s rays. At the same time, however, the General Secretary of Culture of the Ministry of Culture and Sport, Dr. Lina Mendoni, said this week, that the archaeological heritage of Greece is one of the prime attractors for tourists, and that tourism is a significant means for the Greek economy to provide much needed jobs and essential tax revenues. If the latter is true and the former is sought, it would be self-evident that renewable energy production schemes, especially large scale projects, would be situated in places that would not have an adverse effect on the country’s archaeological heritage and the landscapes in which they are located. After all, such traditional landscapes are part of the attraction for tourists visiting the country. While there must be tradeoffs between the two important objectives, and the proper mitigation of archaeological remains that might be threatened by development, any proposal to insert a huge energy project into a known, rich archaeological landscape seems both perverse and counterproductive.
|Proposed sun-powered electrical energy plant at Palaikastro|
Since there are other places in eastern Crete where the archaeological remains have a much lower density and the landscape is not so significant, such localities should be chosen over an area such as Palaikastro. No doubt the lower costs of constructing such a plant on a flat, coastal plain versus those in an upland valley is the prime factor in such a misguided, counterproductive decision for the granting of a permit by the government. Short-term thinking when dealing with non-renewable archaeological heritage will mean degraded or worse archaeological attractions for tourists in the future. Eleos!!!