The Roman Agora or Roman Forum, was the centre of the city from Roman times up to the 7th century AD.
Modern and Contemporary era (1912 - )
1962 Start of the first excavation phase. Completed in 1973.
1989 Start of the second excavation phase, which lasted until the mid 2000s.
Ottoman era (1453- 1912)
Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)
Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)
Build and developed during the Antonine era (late 2nd century AD) and Severi era (first half of the 3rd century AD). A first type of agora had already existed since the 1st century AD.
Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)
Classical era (478-323 BC)
Archaic era (800-479 BC)
Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)
Prehistory (-1100 BC)
What I can see
It was the centre of the city from Roman times up to the 7th century AD and was among the largest markets of the Roman world. The site consists of squares in two levels, from which the lower one (called “Megaloforos” during the Byzantine period) has not been fully excavated. These were connected with a monumental staircase. The most important buildings of the site include: a) the Eastern Stoa, from which the bases of the columns, a Corinthian column and a mosaic floor with geometric shapes, have survived, b) the South Stoa, below which there is another underground tunnel, which served as a water reservoir during the Byzantine era and now houses the Museum of the Roman Agora, c) the Odeon, already built (2nd century AD), renovated (3rd century AD) and turned into a theatre (4th century AD), probably on top of a theatre or parliament, is 16.3 metres long, with an elliptic shape, seven rows of seats, which could accommodate 400 people and was used for public celebrations, sports events and music competitions. According to one account, it denoted its elevated first line of seats for animal fighting, a view that has been challenged however, due to the small size of the orchestra and the building as a whole, d) the balneum, the earliest (so far) surviving visible building of Thessaloniki of the Hellenistic period, found on the north-eastern side of the space and were public baths of that time and e) part of the city’s public library.
What I can't see
The main entrance of the Roman Agora was on the side of Egnatia St (then called Via Regia) and the Stoa of the Idols, where the Incatadas (the originals are in Louvre) were placed. Apart from these important buildings, the centre of the ancient city had houses, workshops, public buildings, places of worship, statues of important people -mainly Romans, a statue-complex of Dionysus- Satyr (3rd century AD), a statue of Athena probably from ivory and gold, from the 5th century BC (Athena Medici), a mint, courts, storehouses and a gymnasium. Moreover, food debris was also discovered in the bathhouse, which shows the culinary abundance and variety that Thessalonians enjoyed during that era and included poultry, fish, rare birds, cattle, rabbits and shellfish.
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Zafeiris Ch., (1997), Θεσσαλονίκης Εγκόλπιον, ιστορία, πολιτισμός, η πόλη σήμερα, γεύσεις, μουσεία, μνημεία, διαδρομές, [Thessaloniki Handbook, history, culture, the city today, flavours, museums, routes], Athens: Exantas
Ζafeiris Ch., (2014), Θεσσαλονίκη, η παρουσία των απόντων, η κληρονομιά Ρωμαίων, Μουσουλμάνων, Εβραίων, Ντονμέδων, Φράγκων, Αρμενίων και Σλάβων, [Thessaloniki, the presense of the absent, the heritage of Romans, Muslims, Jews, Doenme, Franks, Armenians and Slavs], Thessaloniki: Epikentro
Open House Thessaloniki (2019), Ρωμαϊκή Αγορά, [Roman Forum], ΟΗΤΗ