The ancient workshops excavated in the Malia palace complex, NE Crete, have flooded after heavy rain in the area this week, the Culture Ministry said on Wednesday, with underground pipes unable to channel water away from a nearby field that was submerged in water.
The local archaeological service has called on the mayor of Chersonissos for help and he sent an excavation machine to help, but the volume of water is so great that water has flooded excavation trenches in the site.
Flooding was a result of several factors besides the volume of water, the ministry said, naming faulty angles of pipe-laying originally and the low-lying level of the site. The full extent of damage will be seen after the thick layer of mud brought by water is removed, it said, after assessing that no wall collapses or other great damage has occurred so far.
Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, briefed on the issue, said that the ministry’s services will plan for an extensive and well-planned drainage network buttressed by low walls, to hold rain away from the low-lying excavated areas, particularly as the nearby road is higher than the site.
“The Malia palace is among the 6 palaces awaiting inclusion in UNESCO’s World Heritage Monuments List,” she noted.