Design proposal to increase functionality and aesthetics of archaeological sites: the case study of Ancient Messene, Greece
The archaeological site of Ancient Messene (369 BCE) is one of the most important cities of antiquity in terms of size, form and state of preservation. It is located in Peloponnese, Greece, in a Mediterranean natural environment. The site is in a very good preservation state and excavations are in continuous progress. However, there is no predetermined way for the visitor to move in the site. There are several paths naturally created that connect its main spots, without composing an organized system. Additionally, there is a lack of ornamental vegetation that would add aesthetic and functional value to the site. In article III of the Athens Charter it is stated that a study should be made for the ornamental vegetation of an archaeological site that would preserve its historical character. The current project aims to define a movement network to guide visitors, which incorporates native plant species that underline the historic significance of the site. The proposed new configuration of movement is clearly defined by paths based on the Hippodameian grid of the ancient city. Along its length, rest areas are proposed that provide specific viewpoints of the most important spots. The urban grid is even more emphasized with the use of shrubby native plants. The plant species were chosen based on historical information on their use in ancient times, designating the local character of the site.
Papafotiou, M., Marco Martínez, G., Petrocheilou, A. and Kanellou, E. (2017). Design proposal to increase functionality and aesthetics of archaeological sites: the case study of Ancient Messene, Greece. Acta Hortic. 1189, 103-108
ornamental vegetation, paths network, shrubby Mediterranean species, Hippodameian system