Stamatis Chatzitoulousis, Vlasis Vlasidis, Apostolos Sarris, Kalliopi Efkleidou, Eleni Kotjabopoulou, Nikos Papadopoulos, Nasos Argyriou, Jamie Donati, Meropi Manataki, Pedro Trapero-Fernandez
December 31, 2019
Following recent excavations and geophysical prospection at Idomeni in the Kilkis prefecture of Northern Greece, this paper attempts to reconstruct through digital means, the tangible and intangible vestiges of historical episodes that come together to form multiple narratives of a diachronically terra incognita site, gradually unlocking its hidden secrets. The digital documentation and processing, with the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), of the spatial remains associated with historical episodes demonstrate the ways in which space at Idomeni was used within a multifaceted, diachronic framework. It is a place that is constantly being transformed over the past 7000 years from a seemingly “peaceful” agricultural community during the Neolithic period to a burial ground for a still invisible Middle Byzantine settlement, and finally, as a place of violence having been one of the battlefields of the First World War. The story of Idomeni has only recently been concluded as the theatre of a dramatic influx of modern refugees. Thus, the “multilayered” identity of a mnemonic place with various representations of the past unfolds: on one hand the distant eras, such as the still unknown Neolithic and Middle Byzantine period, and on the other, the relatively recent “traumatic” (war-related) past. Within the specific historical context of the First World War, this paper discusses the management of memories of locals and non-locals, e.g. the disappearance of entire settlements, or the emergence of new toponyms related to the protagonists and their actions during the war in the area of Idomeni remaining in the memory of locals today.