ATHENS - Ancient Agora - 2011
Type of Operation
K. Tsogka (Α’ ΕΠΚΑ) reports on excavations between 2010-2011 within the railway line from Theseio-Monastiraki, at the point where the line cuts though the ancient Agora on the south side of Adrianou Street.
At the west of the Railway excavations, a section (revealed length 2.7m, 7m wide) of the West Road of the Agora came to light, which crosses the eastern foot of Agoraios Kolonos hill. On its west side were the remains of Classical stone and clay working facilities. Sections of the west and the north foundations of the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios were also revealed, but it appears that the whole northwest corner of the building and a large part of the north wall was destroyed by building of the central channel of the railway (Agora XIV, pp.96-103). The Stoa was found to have cut into an earlier floor to the north from which Geometric to Classical sherds were collected; and between the foundation walls of the Stoa, the remains of earlier buildings were noted. Further east of the west wall of the Stoa a pit produced black-glazed ceramics of Late Geometric to the 1st half of the 5th century BC, similar to a pit excavated in 1935 further south below the east wall of the Stoa. Above bedrock, pieces of mud-brick, lumps of clay and charcoal extended 2.5m in length west of the foundation trench of the Stoa, originating from the destruction of a stone wall with mud-brick above. Related pottery dates from around 525 and not later than 425 BC (unglazed and black-glazed pots, mainly drinking cups, and few fragments of black-figure and red-figure, mostly craters). A small section of polygonal walling (l. 0.96, w. 0.15, h. 0.33m) between the west foundation wall and the retaining wall of the Stoa may be the stone base of this wall, destroyed by the construction of the Stoa around the last quarter of the fifth century when its building materials were used to fill the area. This earlier structure is probably connected with the so-called South building found in 1933 by the ASCSA within the archaeological site (Rotroff & Oakley 1992, pp.4-8). Parts of two rooms at its southeast corner were then revealed with similar walls of stone base and mud-brick upper courses, dated to 475-425 BC.
North of the north foundation wall of the Stoa two perpendicular walls running northeast-southwest also appear to have been taken down for the construction of the Stoa. Further west, at least three poros blocks on the same orientation were used in a secondary phase as the substructure of a Roman cistern. These two walls are possibly a continuation of the North building found in 1972 west of the Stoa Basileus, which had produced public dining ware of 475-425 BC (Rotroff & Oakley 1992, pp.5-8). These two buildings then, the North and the South, cleared for the construction of the Stoa of Zeus, could have been related to the Thesmotheteion, the seat of the six Thesmothetai, archons of Athens.
The southern part of a previously unknown cistern was revealed in the area between the Stoa of Zeus and the Stoa Basileus. Unglazed domestic wares of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD were collected from inside, but, architecturally, the remains should be part of a spring which functioned together with the Roman Stoa built at the north side of the Sacred Way around 100BC (Agora XIV, pp.108-109).
K. Tsogka, in Maria Dogka-Toli and Stavroula Oikonomou (eds) Αρχαιολογικές συμβολές. Τόμος Β: Α’ και Γ’ Εφορείες Προϊστορικών και Κλασικών Αρχαιοτήτων. Athens: Museum of Cycladic Art 2013, pp. 111-127.
Date of creation