he entrance to the Kerameikos archaeological site is on Ermou Street just beyond Asomaton Square, next to the metro station of Theseio. When in 478 BC the first walls of Athens were being built, this place was a section of the ancient demos of Keramaies and was divided into two parts: the inner Kerameikos inside the town and the outer Kerameikos to the west, outside the walls.
|The name Kerameikos comes from the 'Kerameis", those who were involved with the
molding of clay, potters. Inner Kerameikos had good quality clay and the artists used it to make the renewed ceramics of Attica.|
|hese two areas were connected by two gates in the wall, the Sacred Gate and the Dipylos Gate. The road to Eleusis began at the Sacred Gate. This road was named the Sacred Way because it was used for the procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The road to Piraeus began at the Dipylos Gate, and the Panathenaic Procession set off from here and went all the way to the Propylaia. |
The Outer Kerameikos was the cemetery of Athens from prehistoric to historic times. The road towards Plato's Academy, which was located further down, was lined on both sides with monuments of the most eminent men of the city. Here were found the tombs of Thrasyvoulos, Pericles, Chavrias, Phormion, Kleisthenis and others.
he Heridanos river flowed alongside the Gate of the Sacred Way, having its source on Hymettus near Kaisariani. Sections of the walls of the Themistoclean enclosure have survived at Kerameikos. The Street of the Tombs is 8 m. wide and 90 m. long. The most important monuments there, are the Nikistratis and the Kifisodoros memorials, the Lysimachides monument, showing a boat being rowed by Charon, and the Dionysios monument in the shape of a proud bull.
|he museum found at Kerameikos has on display finds from the excavations made in this place. Here one can admire the most important funerary monuments from Archaic and Classical times. There are lavish collections of ceramics from the sub-Mycenaean to the Roman period, idols, bronze and glass objects and other tomb offerings. There is an important collection of pots, statues, bases, columns, shards and gold wreathe.|
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Photos and informations taken from "Athens - Attica"
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