Along the scenic coast of the northern Aegean Sea, archaeologists have uncovered a Greek portico, which, 2,500 years ago, would have been a bustling public space, something like an ancient strip mall.
The seaside portico, or stoa, stretches 130 feet (40 meters) across with seven rooms inside, each bearing the distinct architectural touches of their ancient shop owners, the site's excavators say. Strewn about the ruins, archaeologists found coins, vases and other artifacts that hold clues to when and how people lived in the archaic city.
"Porticos are well known from the Hellenistic period, from the third to first century B.C., but earlier examples are extremely rare," archaeologist Jacques Perreault, a classicist at the University of Montreal, said in a statement. "The one from Argilos is the oldest example to date from northern Greece and is truly unique."