WORKING HOURS - GENERAL INFORMATION
The Anthropological Association of Greece (AAG - www.aee.gr) invites you to visit its deed at Petralona* cave and the adjacent Anthropological Museum, which are laying in an area of about 180 acres, 1 km to the ΝΕ of the homonymous village, on the western cliffs of the ancient Kalavros** mountain (: nowadays named Katsika***). Just 50 km to the SE of Thessaloniki, in Khalkidhiki peninsula (
Macedonia- ), is the place where the eldest - known until now - Europaeoid (European) ancestors had lived. Greece
At this point must also be noted that on April 4th 2011 the Greek Archeological Service after an intense political background (being indifferent to the contribution of more than half a century), violently expelled from the cavern the AAG within a detrimental framework for the Greek state, but also for the international scientific community.
After 2011 the exhibits of the
have been gradually “decimated”. Hundreds of them were removed and/or hidden. Visitors, who have seen the Museum before and after AAG removal, express their deep disappointment concerning the “stripping” of the exhibition hall. The magazine "Intelligent Life" (Oct. 2012) reported that a world wide unique fossilized oak leave dated at 700,000 years ago is missing, but the Archaeological Service has never felt the need to provide some explanation. Herewith must also be noted that the removal of the AAGoccurred without the legally required procedure (such as delivery - collection), since it was carried sans the necessarily common recording (counting, photographing etc) of fossils, but also casts, sculptures, paintings (concerning the cave’s findings and their position in the evolution of life), as well as of all other objects. Anthropological Museum
Since 1960, when the skull of the European Archanthropus was discovered in
Khalkidhiki, dozens of scientists from around the world have selflessly participated to an atypically formed: “International Petralona research team”. The deed of this team, which may be considered as one of the most important regarding the past 50 years, was coordinated by the AAG, two palaeo-anthropologists of which, alongside to their scientific studies, had offered unpaid service for the management of the cave and the Museum.
Another 13 employers from the region, trained by AAG, also worked for the site. In this way, at least 5 European languages were available to visitors (besides those used by guides who accompanied tourists on buses).
Before the expulsion of the AAG, the admission to the public was allowed daily (including all holidays, as New Year's Day etc), from 9:00 till 16:00 during the winter and till 18:00 in the summer. However, if some tourists, especially from abroad, were to arrive shortly before the closure of the cave, the visiting time could be considerably extended (even until 21:00 during summer). In this way the state’s income was increased, creating positive impressions to the visitors, greatly restricting the unemployment problem as well.
On April 4th 2011 all 13 aforementioned employers were fired and replaced by 3-4 guards, who already had a job at ancient
, but also barely completed some primary school classes. Therefore, from the beginning they were assumed under dubious procedures and criteria (in the times of the supposedly “Green Development”). Moreover, during the past 2-3 years the entrance to the cave is allowed only from 9:00 till 14:00/15:00, but not on Mondays orpublic holidays. Meanwhile, the supervising 1 or 2 state archaeologists due to their unfortunate lack of palaeoanthropological education, distort the data concerning the preservation of the Petralona human skull and misinterpret the cave’s scientific value, consequently resulting to the misinformation of the visitors (cf. the letters of the European Anthropological Association, as well as of the International Union of Speleolog. Olynthus
As possible reasons for the above actions of public servants is considered the intention of illegal "consumption" of NSRF(National Strategic Reference Framework) and / or other European funds. Besides the exertion for ownership of the AAG excavations and/or of its findings studies, the above conclusion is also possible to deduce from the fact that the marble cornerstone of the Museum has being chiseled off and removed. On this cornerstone already since 1978 it was written that the Museum was constructed after the initiative of the AAG President and the self-sacrifice of its members. So far (Jan. 2014), the existing officers of local and national authorities remain (intentionally or not) indifferent and unmoved in front of the previously referred tremendous malfunctions, perhaps because some benefits from the European subsidy is expected too (as sharing and/or redirecting them towards alien “needs”). Thus, the only hopes remaining are devolved to judicial decisions that may eliminate the already described irrational and outmost detrimental situations.
In any case, fact is that an overall surveillance of the Petralona palaeoanthropological site, along with its scientific value before the devastating onslaught of the current cave’s managers, may be acquired only through the present virtual tour.
For additional eventually information our volunteers however may be contacted at the telephone numbers in
: 0030-2103646793 or 0030-6936705100. Athens
*Note 1: In Greek language the complex word «Petralona» (Πετράλωνα) is consisted by πέτρα -
(: stone) and αλώνια - alonia (: threshing floors), meaning the stone threshing floors. petra
** Note 2: The complex Ancient Greek word «Kalavros» (Κάλαυρος) is consisted by καλή - kale (good) and αύρα - avra (breeze), meaning the good breeze.
*** Note 3: In Modern Greek the word katsika (κατσίκα) means goat.
Note 4: The petralona-cave.gr Website is the world’s first virtual tour for a cave. It was uploaded on the Internet during June of 2009, where the perennial AAG’s excavations, studies and works are represented. Officially it was premiered by special announcements during the works of the 15th International Congress of Speleology in
on 22 and 24 July, 2009. Same Website was implemented with the symbolic aid of 25.000 euros, which was kindly granted by the EU (the Services of which posses also a copy of the Website). By comparison may be verified (see below), that the change made after the aforementioned violent removal of the AAG, concern the Webpage of General Information, the content of witch is also collocated in the Contacts. Kerrville Texas
Regardless if AAG regrets its meaningless removal from the cave’s studies, the public certainly has the right to the direct (and free) access of the relevant and internationally recognized scientific information.
P. S: For the sake of comparison, as well as historical recursion, the text that existed here before April 4th 2011 is quoted below (recalling however again that the telephone numbers, the working hours etc are no more valid).
General Information - Working hours
The Anthropological Association of Greece (www.aee.gr) invites you to visit the Petralona* Cave and its Anthropological Museum, which are situated about 1 km to the East of the homonymous village and 50 km SE of Thessaloniki in Chalkidiki (Macedonia - Greece) on the western cliffs of the ancient mount Kalavros (Katsika**).
Entrance is allowed daily (all year around) with guides, from 9:00 till 16:00 in the winter and till 18:00 in the summer. Priority order is kept.
Cameras and videos are not allowed, for scientific (excavations in progress) and safety reasons (various flashes cause damage to the stalagmites and stalactites), eventually influencing even finding's absolute geophysical chronology. For similar reasons mobile telephones have to be deactivated (either way their signal does not reach the Cave's interiors).
Ticket price for both Cave and
is: 7 euros for individual visitors, 5 euros for groups of 25 or more, while school students in planed excursions are charged 4 euros each. Anthropological Museum
Further information in the tel.: (0030) - 23730 - 71671. Fax: (0030) - 23730 - 71677.
* Note: In Greek language the complex word «Petralona» (Πετράλωνα) is consisted by πέτρα -
(: stone) and αλώνια - alonia (: threshing floors), meaning: the stone threshing floors, petra
** Note: The word katsika (κατσίκα) in Greek means goat.
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