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Ancient Agora

The archaeological site of the Ancient Agora was the most central area of ancient Athens.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1931 Beginning of the excavations by the American School of Classical Studies, which are still ongoing.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The archaeological site of the Ancient Agora is, in a way, the ancient heart of the city, since it was the most central area of ancient Athens. The main entrance to the ancient site is on today’s Adrianou Street. Anyone visiting the area is likely to feel confused as to which buildings exist now or existed in the past and what the limits and position of many of these buildings was during ancient times. For this reason, an itemized list and description of each building can be found on our website, which provides a kind of visual unfolding of the Agora landscape. What is certain is that the area bears the “remains” of many historical periods. There are everywhere traces of all the invaders (Persians, Romans, Heruli, Visigoths, Vandals, Slavs). Apart from archaeological remains, the surrounding area offers a unique walk through the Attic greenery especially on the trail below Areios Pagos (i.e. Supreme Court), which might momentarily make visitors forget they are walking in the vicinity of a bustling city.

What I can't see

Traces of habitation exist in the area of the Agora from 4000 BC. Between 3000 BC to approximately 600 BC, the area had mostly houses and tombs. Starting from around 600 BC, the era of Solon and the beginning of democracy in Athens, both the role and topography of the area changed and from a settlement area, it gradually became an administrative one. The variety of activities held here was vast. The Agora hosted a market, public buildings, elections, social and religious events as well as trade and theatrical games, held here before the Dionysus theatre was built. The foundation of the separation of powers, as we know it in modern democracies, was laid here. There were buildings and functions of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The area maintained its character until the 5th century AD. In the meantime, it witnessed both achievement and decline. During excavations, more than 7,500 inscriptions were found, which were valuable sources of information. Despite the fact that over 400 recent buildings were demolished and 12.2 acres have already been excavated, archaeologists can safely assume that under the newer buildings in the area there are many more surprises waiting to “come to light”.


Camp J., (2001), The Archaeology of Athens, Yale University Press, New Haven and London

Antonopoulos Th., (2014), Η Αρχαία Αγορά, ο ομφαλός της αρχαίας Αθήνας, [The Ancient Agora, the centre of ancient Athens], Athens, the History of a city, Lifo, part 2

Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing thecity guidedby history andliterature], ESTIA Bookstore

Foka Ι., Valavanis P., (1994), Περίπατοι στην Αθήνα και την Αττική, τόποι, θεοί, μνημεία [Strolls in Athens and Attica, places, gods, monuments], Kedros