The discovery of the ancient Greek city of Tenea:
It was a baking hot summer’s day and I was in a car driving through the dramatic hills and lush vegetation of the Peloponnese in Greece. “Look at this whole plain,” my driver, Eleni Korka, said, gesturing out the window. To our left was a huge, flat area, covered in olive trees and scrub bushes. Where it ended, the earth transformed sharply into forested mountains.
“The city of Tenea covered this whole place,” she told me. “It’s above sea level and there’s a cool breeze, so the summer palace would probably have been built here.” She pointed to a traditional restaurant tucked under a distinctive, almost square-shaped hill. “And this taverna is built under a watermill,” she said.
Korka is one of the country’s top archaeologists. A Greek American, she recently made the biggest discovery of her 40-year career. The lost city of Tenea, which is mentioned in multiple Greek myths and historical texts, such as the ancient legend of Oedipus, the mythical king of Thebes who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother, was uncovered by her and her team last October, buried under the fields we’re now driving past.