Brexiza Marsh (also known as the SMALL MARSH) is located in the Nea Makris' North East borders with the Municipality of Marathon. The geomorphology of this area is similar to the well known Schinia Marsh. In fact, these two marshes constituted an ancient lagoon. Extensive drainage works in the '30 has included both of these constitutive areas.
Archaeological excavations have found traces of a prehistoric settlement and graves from both the geometric and classic periods. A number of historians and archaeologists consider this to be the area in which the Athenian Armies raised their camp before the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C.
The archaeological site of Brexiza is particularly important, because it includes a unique in the Attica Region, sanctuary of Egyptian Gods, the luxurious Balaneo and installations of a Vivarium. All are assumed to be the work of Herod the Atticus (2nd c B.C.) The archaeological finds (e.g. an oversized Egyptian style statue, and rare devotional lamps) are particularly impressive.
Many of these finds can be seen in the Marathon's Archaeology Museum, while one of the male statues adorns the new room of the Egyptian Collection in the National Archaeology Museum in Athens. Copies of these statues have been put in their original place on the site. The Ministry of Culture has dis appropriated the land containing the Sanctuary and the Balaneo and has assigned the status of "under protection" to an area of roughly 300000sqm. This includes also the public property of the former American Military Base.
We, as a group of citizens, are concerned with the barbaric destruction of the area's environment, in the form of a municipal landfill of solid waste, bordering this magnificent archaeological site. This illegal and barbaric use of the site (and until 2004 the burning of the waste as well) extends into the "under protection" area itself. Moreover, it is very close to the residential area and indeed next to Nea Makri's Athletic and Cultural Park. The historic water stream which runs through the northern limits of the archaeological site, is consequently polluted with all sorts of waste. The ''clearing work'' of the water stream, undertaken by the Council, is destroying the watercourse and the growth of its banks. This kind of "work" is done at a price by a excavation firm whose part owner is a member of the municipal council !!! .
With local environmental company [TETRAPOLIS] and active ally the WWF we began making complaints to various state institutions, the local MPs, the Press and the Television. We have asked the assistance of the ELLINIKI ETAIRIA, the Greek Ornithological Society and the Greek Centre for the protection of Biotopes. The active participation of the Friends of the Archaeological Museum of Marathon has strengthen our efforts, particularly since the later has organised an all day discussion meeting with the archaeologists of our region.
We have accomplished the closure of the landfill of waste and we have been promised the removal of all the solid waste on the site. We have formed a network of active citizens and local associations and we shall continue our effort towards the complete reclamation of the area and its transformation into a unity of ecological park with an archaeological site, a tangible unity of culture, recreation and environmental sensibility.
For more information: www.brexiza-net.blogspot.com