Museum of the Ancient Agora
(24 Adrianou, Athens tel. 210 3210185)The Museum of the Ancient Agora is housed in the restored building of the Stoa Attalos which dates back to the 2nd century BC and it was a gift from the king of Pergamum Attalus II to the Athenians.
The Museum's exhibit includes findings from the American School of Classics excavations in the Ancient Agora dating from Neolithic times to the post-Byzantine era and the era of the Ottoman Empire. The exhibition is organized into chronological and thematic sections and provides important information about the private and public life of the ancient Athenians.
The most ancient exhibits, vases, figurines, weapons and pottery sherds, date back to the Neolithic times, the early and middle Bronze Age, the Mycenaean and the Geometric era and come mainly from shallow wells and burials that were investigated in the wider area of the Agora.
The most important exhibits of the Museum are related to the functions of the Athenian Democratic state and date back to the classical, post-classical times. Among them are: clay public measures, bronze official stations, part of a marble lottery, bronze judicial plaques, a clay hourglass, bronze judicial votes, and ostracism shells inscribed with the names of famous generals and politicians of antiquity.
Of particular interest is a marble resolution relief with a representation of the Municipality and the Republic and an engraved resolution of the Church of the Municipality against tyranny. An important section is red-figure and black-figure vases, many works by well-known potters and utensils for everyday use, lamps, figurines and a few jewels and coins. The exhibition is complemented by small-scale sculptures, which copy the works of well-known artists of antiquity, and figurative marble portraits from Roman times.
Nicoletta Saraga, archaeologist
The Stoa of Attalus on the eastern side of the Ancient Agora was a gift from the king of Pergamum Attalus II (159-138 BC) to the city of Athens, as stated by an inscription on the portico of the lower colonnade, which is preserved in fragments: "VASILEUS ATTALOS ATTALOS AND VASILISS APOLLONIDOS".
The building grew to a length of about 116 meters, was two stories high with a second row of columns inside and 21 shops in the background on each floor. On the ground floor, the outer colonnade was Doric and the inner Ionic, with fluted columns. On the floor the outer colonnade was Ionic and the inner one had Pergamon type capitals.
The Stoa of Attalus was for the Athenians a place of meeting, walking and shopping center of the time. It was destroyed by the Herouls in 267 AD and incorporated into the Late Roman wall of Athens.
The restoration of the Lodge was carried out between the years 1953-1956 by the American School of Classical Studies, based on the studies of the architect Ioannis Travlos, and realized thanks to the donation of John D. Rockefeller Jr. Today, the Stoa functions as a museum, in which the findings from the excavations of the Ancient Agora area are exhibited.
Editor Vassiliki Christopoulou, archaeologist