The finding was unearthed in the context of the archaeological work conducted for the construction of the pipeline in the "Arsakeio" worksite, at kilometre point 71 of TAP’s routing at the Maroneia-Sapes Municipality (Rhodope Regional Unit, Region of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace).
The discovery was made in February 2017, during trench work undertaken in the area. Other findings included remnants of a rectangular and a circular building, a well and tombs – pit-like and unadorned.
According to the assessment of Marina Tasaklaki, archaeologist of the competent Rhodope Ephorate of Antiquities cooperating with TAP on the project, this was the site of a late Roman / early Byzantine workshop for the production of ceramics that was subsequently abandoned and used as a cemetery.
An ancient fort has also been excavated in a nearby area, as well as a 3rd century AD road sign of the Roman Via Egnatia, connecting Dyrrachium (present-day Durrës) and the city of Byzantium (later Constantinople).
In the context of TAP Greece’s collaboration with the competent Ministry of Culture and the local Ephorate of Antiquities, we addressed their request to expose, release, lift and transport the massive kiln to the nearby Archaeological Museum.
It should be stressed that the relevant decision of transfer from the Ministry describes such findings of artisanship from the era as "rare," hence the particular scientific interest in the kiln.
The operation was complex and lengthy. People from TAP and the contractor Spiecapag worked hard on it for the better part of eight months, finally delivering the kiln in late September 2018.
Their diligent efforts demonstrate the commitment and dedication with which the project’s Cultural Heritage team addresses such issues, always in close cooperation with local Ephorates of Antiquities and their directors – in this case the Rhodope Ephor, Chrysa Karadima.
The kiln has now found its new home and rightful place at the courtyard of the Komotini Archaeological Museum, where visitors may see and study it up close and personal.