World Radio and TV

Working Lives Athens

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Media captionWATCH: Despite having her salary reduced by a third, archaeologist Chara Charami loves her job

Archaeologist Chara Charami is involved in a number of different excavations that are currently taking place in Athens.

In her mind, she holds an alternative map of the centre of the city: one which, instead of modern buildings and highways crowded with traffic, has ancient walls, baths and residences dating back to Roman, Hellenistic and even prehistoric times.

Many of the excavations are funded by companies or individuals who found antiquities on their building sites. Chara tells us that this is a common occurrence in a city like Athens which is built on so many layers of history.

Her department gets called in to excavate, evaluate and then finally offer a solution where both the antiquities can be protected and the construction work can go on.

She loves her work despite the fact that her salary has been reduced by a third - her monthly salary is now 980 euros ($1,210) a month - and she's now earning less than when she started work over 15 years ago.

She still treasures the moment when a piece of the past, an object of people's daily lives in ancient Athens, or a marker mentioned in an ancient text, is revealed and she's able to bring it back into the light.