Authorities in Laconia, in the southern Peloponnese, yesterday expressed concern after state archaeologists ordered workers cleaning the bed of a local river to suspend their activities as the ruins of an ancient Roman home may be on the site. The Culture Ministry’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) said the area around the River Kelefina, where works were under way, is an archaeological site and should be protected, although no ruins or artifacts have been found.
But local authorities said the clearing work is necessary and needs to be conducted regularly to keep the river from breaking its banks, causing flooding. “Just two weeks ago, the river flooded after 15 minutes of rain,” Laconia Prefect Constantinos Fourkas said. When it rains, all the water flows from the streams of Mt Parnon ends up in Kelefina, he said, adding that the risk of regional flooding was high.