Thessaloniki hospital exhibition tells tale of Balkan front

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An exhibition entitled Army of the Orient in the Balkans: Archaeological Testimonials of a Hospital in Thermi/Sedes, has opened at the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Many of the items on show were recovered from the site of a World War I military hospital, reports Ekathimerini.com.

Among the finds were dozens of empty champagne and Burgundy wine bottles, eating utensils, military uniforms, buttons, shoes and coins.

Anastasios Antonaras, one of the archaeologists who worked on the exhibit, told the newspaper: ‘My first impression was that the finds were from an officers’ club and showed how they entertained themselves.

‘It took two years of research before I discovered the bottles found in the dump were reused to store medicine, covering the very sizable needs of the 16 military hospitals that had been set up in Thessaloniki at the time.’

The detrius tells fascinating stories, such as how a soldier may have been saved by a 10-drachma piece, which was found with a bullet impact in its centre.

The recovered buttons are also interesting, as they come from the uniforms of French, Russian, Serbian and British soldiers, hinting at the nationalities of the troops who passed through the hospital.

For the entire story, click here

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