Introduction by Prof. Petros G. Themelis (GR) – Archeologist (University of Crete, Emeritus / Director of the Excavation and Restoration Messene)

The urban landscape of Messene was constructed in the early Hellenistic era, according to certain architectural and town planning principles of spatial organisation, which reflected the political and social values of the period applied to the demands of this programmatic city founded by the Thebans in 369 B.C. on the south slopes of mount Ithome. The city was famous for its mighty fortification walls, the monumentality of its public buildings and the Hippodamian town-plan. The cityscape preserves evidence related to its successive constructional phases in the course of time from the 4th century BC to the 14th AD. The character of the landscape is defined and transformed by human activities and ideologies; it is a cultural product subject to constant re-interpretation.