location title athens


Archaeological Sight of Kerameikos

Ancient Kerameikos, as the name implies, was a district associated with potters. Situated on the northwestern fringes of ancient Athens, it extended both within and beyond the city walls that intersect the present-day excavation site. Two gates, the Dipylos and the Holy Gate, linked the interior and exterior of Kerameikos. The area outside the Gates was the largest and most renowned Attic cemetery, known as the "Public Sign." The Holy Gate took its name from the Holy Way, which the Eleusinian Mysteries procession followed. Today, a section of the ancient Iridanos River still flows through the Holy Gate, allowing visitors to walk at the same level as Athenians in classical times. During the archaic period, the site was characterized by substantial burial mounds. In the classical era, the Holy Way transformed into a traditional cemetery with family burial enclosures adorned with elaborate sculptural decorations. In contrast, the Dipylos road was used for official burial ceremonies for fallen warriors interred at the Public Mark. The famous Panathenaic Road, which began at Dipylos and led into the city, had an official purpose. Between these two gates stood the Pompeio building, where preparations were made for the Panathenaic procession in honor of Athena, the site's patroness. The street of tombs contains tombstones showcasing high artistry and aesthetics. Prominent among them are the stele of Dexileos, a young horseman, the bull sculpture in Dionysios's precinct, and the Hegisos stele. Opening Hours: Winter: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Tuesdays: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Summer: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

148, Ermou Str., Athens