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The city records were kept in the Metroon.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1907 The first excavation took place. It lasted a year.

    1931 The older temple was discovered. The excavation lasted until 1937.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

    In the 4th century AD a Christian basilica was built on the ruins of the northern hall.

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

    267 AD Destroyed by the Heruli.

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

    The Hellenistic temple was built during the third quarter of the 2nd century BC.

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

    480 BC During 480 to 479 BC, dates the oldest temple.

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

A building dedicated to the Mother (of the Gods). Mitir in ancient Greek means mother and the word metroon comes from “mitir”. Its 4 spaces had a common colonnade with Ionic columns and a length of 39m. The fourth space had an open peristyle. In the northern part of this space parts of an older temple were found, which probably had been destroyed by the Persians.

What I can't see

The original state documents (papyri or parchments) were kept here and this was the city registry office, where Athenians were registered on the tenth day after their birth. The altar was located to the north of the Metroon and one of the two northern halls was a place of worship. The statue of the Mother of the earlier temple was probably transferred to the adjacent building (New Assembly Hall/ New Vouleftirion), after the destruction of the earlier temple by the Persians. The later temple was of Ionic order, as well as some new colonnades of the Hellenistic era. These buildings gradually began to change the strict Doric architecture of the Ancient Agora and made it look more like the corresponding agoras of the colonies of Asia Minor (eg Miletus, Ephesus, etc.), where the Ionian order comes from.


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


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


Thompson H.A., Wycherley R.E., (1972), The Athenian Agora, results of excavations conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, v.6, The Agora of Athens, the History, shape and uses of an ancient city center, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Princeton, New Jersey


Travlos J., (1980), Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens, New York: Hacker Art Book