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Roman era After the fall of the Kingdom of Macedon in 168 BC, Thessaloniki became a city of the Roman Republic. It grew to be an important trade-hub located on the Via Egnatia, the Roman road connecting Byzantium (later Constantinople) with Dyrrhachium, which facilitated trade between Europe and Asia. The city became the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia while it kept its privileges but was ruled by a praetor and had a Roman garrison. Also for a short time during the 1st century BC, Thessaloniki became capital of all the Greek provinces. Due to the city's commercial importance, a spacious harbour was built by the Romans, the famous Burrowed Harbour (Σκαπτός Λιμήν) that accommodated the city's trade, up to the 18th century. Later, with the help of silt deposits from the Axios river, land was reclaimed and the port was expanded. Remnants of the old harbour's docks can be found in present day under Frangon Street, near the city's Catholic Church. Thessaloniki's acropolis, located in the northern hills, was built in 55 BC for security reasons, following Thracian raids in the city's outskirts at the time. During the 1st century a Jewish colony was established in the city, and came to become an early centre for Christianity. The most important public buildings of Thessaloniki during the Roman imperial age and also during early Christian years, were scattered from the area of the arch of Galerius and the Rotonda (the most impressive part of Thessaloniki during the years of the tetrarchy) to the modern Plateia Dikasterion. In the imperial Roman age (before the tetrarchy) the public life of the town was concentrated only in the area of the modern Plateia Dikasterion. The Ancient Market
(The Forum), the administrative centre of ancient Thessaloniki in the heart of the town, began to be built at the end of the 2nd century AD on the site of an older market of the first imperial years. The complex was arranged around a rectangular paved square. There were stoas (arcades) on three sides, each of which consisted of a double row of columns and provided direct access to a surrounding zone of public buildings. The southern stoa stood on a vaulted substructure (cryptoporticus) - a double arcade which lay partly underground, making use of the natural slope of the land. To the south, along the cryptoporticus, lay a row of shops facing the ancient shopping street which ran along the north side of present-day Philippou St. Off this street lay minor entrances to the square, while the latter opened north, to the present-day Olympou St. In the

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Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project  
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