Ancient Agora of Athens

The ancient Agora of Athens (also called the Classical Agora) is the best-known example of an ancient Greek agora, located to the northwest of the Acropolis and bounded on the south by the hill of the Areopagus and on the west by the hill known as the Agoraios Kolonos, also called Market Hill.[1] The Agora's initial use was for a commercial, assembly, or residential gathering place.[2]

A number of other notable monuments were added to the agora. Some of these included:

The ancient Athenian agora has been excavated by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) since 1931 under the direction of T. Leslie Shear, Sr.[14] The excavation was negotiated and directed by the ASCSA's chair of the agora excavation committee, Edward Capps, who the school would honor with a memorial overlooking the project.[15][16][17] They continue to the present day, now under the direction of John McK Camp.

After the initial phase of excavation, in the 1950s the Hellenistic Stoa of Attalos was reconstructed on the east side of the agora, and today it serves as a museum and as storage and office space for the excavation team.[18]

A virtual reconstruction of the Ancient Agora of Athens has been produced through a collaboration of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Foundation of the Hellenic World, which had various output (3d video, VR real-time dom performance, Google Earth 3d models).[19]

Evidence of planting was discovered during the excavations and in January 4, 1954 the first oak and laurel trees were planted around the Altar of Zeus by Queen Frederika and King Paul as part of the efforts to restore the site with plants that would have been found there in antiquity.[20]

The museum is housed in the Stoa of Attalos, and its exhibits are connected with the Athenian democracy. The collection of the museum includes clay, bronze and glass objects, sculptures, coins and inscriptions from the 7th to the 5th century BC, as well as pottery of the Byzantine period and the Turkish occupation. The exhibition within the museum contains work of art which describes the private and public life in ancient Athens. In 2012, new sculpture exhibition was added to the museum which includes portraits from Athenian Agora excavation. The new exhibition revolves around portraits of idealized gods, officially honored people of the city, wealthy Roman citizens of the 1st and 2nd century AD, 3rd-century citizens and finally on work of art from private art schools of late antiquity.[21]

Coordinates: 37°58′30″N 23°43′21″E / 37.97500°N 23.72250°E / 37.97500; 23.72250


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