Wildfire stopped at gate of ancient fortress city in Greece

Wildfire stopped at gate of ancient fortress city in Greece
Smoke rises over the ancient site of Mycenae (Vangelis Bougiotis/InTime News via AP)

Greece’s culture minister said the archaeological site of Mycenae has not been damaged by a wildfire that swept through the area, despite blackening the entrance to the ancient citadel.

Four water-dropping planes and two helicopters helped dozens of firefighters contain the blaze at the edge of one of Greece’s most important archaeological sites, some 75 miles south-west of Athens.

The Bronze Age fortress city flourished centuries before the major Acropolis monuments were built in Athens and was a major centre of Mediterranean civilisation.

A helicopter operates during a wildfire over the ancient site of Mycenae (Vangelis Bougiotis/InTime News via AP)

Flames blackened the 3,250-year-old stone-built Lion Gate, the entrance to the ancient city.

“The damage caused by yesterday’s fire was the least possible,” culture minister Lina Mendoni said during a visit to the site.

“The fire service acted swiftly… and prevention measures worked: Dry vegetation had all been cleared away. That’s what saved the monuments.”

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