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Kerameikos
Kerameikos
(Greek: Κεραμεικός, pronounced [ce.ɾa.miˈkos]) also known by its Latinized form Ceramicus, is an area of Athens, Greece, located to the northwest of the Acropolis, which includes an extensive area both within and outside the ancient city walls, on both sides of the Dipylon (Δίπυλον) Gate and by the banks of the Eridanos River. It was the potters' quarter of the city, from which the English word "ceramic" is derived, and was also the site of an important cemetery and numerous funerary sculptures erected along the road out of the city towards Eleusis.

Contents

1 History and description 2 Archaeology 3 Museum 4 Metro station 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

History and description[edit]

Inner Kerameikos, view northwest. Sacred Gate on the left, Pompeion on the right.

Eridanos river

Part of the Themistoclean Wall
Themistoclean Wall
built in the 5th century BC

Road to the Platonic Academy

The Tripopatréion on the Sacred Way (road to Eleusis)

The area took its name from the city square or dēmos (δῆμος) of the Kerameis (Κεραμεῖς, potters), which in turn derived its name from the word κέραμος (kéramos, "pottery clay", from which the English word "ceramic" is derived).[1] The "Inner Kerameikos" was the former "potters' quarter" within the city and "Outer Kerameikos" covers the cemetery and also the Dēmósion Sēma (δημόσιον σῆμα, public graveyard) just outside the city walls, where Pericles
Pericles
delivered his funeral oration in 431 BC. The cemetery was also where the Ηiera Hodos
Ηiera Hodos
(the Sacred Way, i.e. the road to Eleusis) began, along which the procession moved for the Eleusinian Mysteries. The quarter was located there because of the abundance of clay mud carried over by the Eridanos River. The area has undergone a number of archaeological excavations in recent years, though the excavated area covers only a small portion of the ancient dēmos. It was originally an area of marshland along the banks of the Eridanos river which was used as a cemetery as long ago as the 3rd millennium BC. It became the site of an organised cemetery from about 1200 BC; numerous cist graves and burial offerings from the period have been discovered by archaeologists. Houses were constructed on the higher drier ground to the south. During the Archaic period increasingly large and complex grave mounds and monuments were built along the south bank of the Eridanos, lining the Sacred Way.[1] The building of the new city wall in 478 BC, following the Persian sack of Athens
Athens
in 480 BC, fundamentally changed the appearance of the area. At the suggestion of Themistocles, all of the funerary sculptures were built into the city wall and two large city gates facing north-west were erected in the Kerameikos. The Sacred Way ran through the Sacred Gate, on the southern side, to Eleusis. On the northern side a wide road, the Dromos, ran through the double-arched Dipylon Gate
Dipylon Gate
(also known as the Thriasian Gate) and on to the Platonic Academy a few miles away. State graves were built on either side of the Dipylon Gate, for the interment of prominent personages such as notable warriors and statesmen, including Pericles
Pericles
and Cleisthenes.[1] After the construction of the city wall, the Sacred Way and a forking street known as the Street of the Tombs again became lined with imposing sepulchral monuments belonging to the families of rich Athenians, dating to before the late 4th century BC. The construction of such lavish mausolea was banned by decree in 317 BC, following which only small columns or inscribed square marble blocks were permitted as grave stones. The Roman occupation of Athens
Athens
led to a resurgence of monument-building, although little is left of them today.[1] During the Classical period an important public building, the Pompeion, stood inside the walls in the area between the two gates. This served a key function in the procession (pompē, πομπή) in honour of Athena
Athena
during the Panathenaic Festival. It consisted of a large courtyard surrounded by columns and banquet rooms, where the nobility of Athens
Athens
would eat the sacrificial meat for the festival. According to ancient Greek sources, a hecatomb (a sacrifice of 100 cows) was carried out for the festival and the people received the meat in the Kerameikos, possibly in the Dipylon courtyard; excavators have found heaps of bones in front of the city wall.[1] The Pompeion and many other buildings in the vicinity of the Sacred Gate were razed to the ground by the marauding army of the Roman dictator Sulla, during his sacking of Athens
Athens
in 86 BC; an episode that Plutarch
Plutarch
described as a bloodbath. During the 2nd century AD, a storehouse was constructed on the site of the Pompeion, but it was destroyed during the invasion of the Heruli
Heruli
in 267 AD. The ruins became the site of potters' workshops until about 500 AD, when two parallel colonnades were built behind the city gates, overrunning the old city walls. A new Festival Gate was constructed to the east with three entrances leading into the city. This was in turn destroyed in raids by the invading Avars and Slavs
Slavs
at the end of the 6th century, and the Kerameikos
Kerameikos
fell into obscurity. It was not rediscovered until a Greek worker dug up a stele in April 1863.[1] Archaeology[edit] Further information: Kerameikos
Kerameikos
steles

Modern replicas of the burial monuments for Hegeso, daughter of Proxenios, and for Koroibos.

Modern replica of the burial monument of Dionysios of Kollitos.

Archaeological excavations in the Kerameikos
Kerameikos
began in 1870 under the auspices of the Greek Archaeological Society. They have continued from 1913 to the present day under the German Archaeological Institute at Athens. During the construction of Kerameikos
Kerameikos
station for the expanded Athens Metro, a plague pit and approximately 1,000 tombs from the 4th and 5th centuries BC were discovered. The Greek archaeologist Efi Baziotopoulou-Valavani, who excavated the site, has dated the grave to between 430 and 426 BC. Thucydides
Thucydides
described the panic caused by the plague, possibly an epidemic of typhoid which struck the besieged city in 430 BC. The epidemic lasted for two years and killed an estimated one third of the population. He wrote that bodies were abandoned in temples and streets, to be subsequently collected and hastily buried. The disease reappeared in the winter of 427 BC. Latest findings in the Kerameikos
Kerameikos
include the excavation of a 2.1 m tall Kouros, unearthed by the German Archaeological Institute at Athens
Athens
under the direction of Professor Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier. This Kouros
Kouros
is the larger twin of the one now kept in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and both were made by the same anonymous sculptor called the "Dipylon Master". Large areas adjacent to those already excavated remain in to be explored, as they lie under the fabric of modern-day Athens. Expropriation of these areas has been delayed until funding is secured. Museum[edit] Main article: Kerameikos
Kerameikos
Archaeological Museum The area is enclosed and visitable through an entrance on the last block of Ermou Street, close to the intersection with Peiraios Street. The Kerameikos
Kerameikos
Museum is housed there, in a small neoclassical building that houses the most extensive collection of burial-related artifacts in Greece, varying from large-scale marble sculpture to funerary urns, stelae, jewelry, toys etc. The original burial monument sculptures are displayed within the museum, having been replaced by plaster replicas in situ. The museum incorporates inner and outer courtyards, where the larger sculptures are kept. Down the hill from the museum, visitors can wander among the Outer Kerameikos
Kerameikos
ruins, the Demosion Sema, the banks of the Eridanos where some water still flows, the remains of the Pompeion and the Dipylon Gate, and walk the first blocks of the Sacred Way towards Eleusis
Eleusis
and of the Panathenaic Way towards the Acropolis. The bulk of the area lies about 7–10 meters below modern street level, having in the past been inundated by centuries' worth of sediment accumulation from the floods of the Eridanos. Metro station[edit] As of spring 2007 Keramikos
Keramikos
is the name given to the metro station which belongs to Line 3 of the Athens
Athens
Metro is adjacent to the Technopolis of Gazi. Notes[edit]

^ a b c d e f Hans Rupprecht Goette, Athens, Attica
Attica
and the Megarid: An Archaeological Guide, p. 59

References[edit]

Ursula Knigge: Der Kerameikos
Kerameikos
von Athen. Führung durch Ausgrabungen und Geschichte. Krene-Verl., Athen 1988. Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier: Der Kuros vom Heiligen Tor. Überraschende Neufunde archaischer Skulptur im Kerameikos
Kerameikos
in Athen. Zabern, Mainz 2002. (Zaberns Bildbände zur Archäologie) ISBN 3-8053-2956-3 Akten des Internationalen Symposions Die Ausgrabungen im Kerameikos, Bilanz und Perspektiven. Athen, 27.–31. Januar 1999. Zabern, Mainz am Rhein 2001. (Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung, 114) ISBN 3-8053-2808-7

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kerameikos.

Kerameikos, Hellenic Ministry of Culture www.athensinfoguide.com Kerameikos A Mycenaean Fountain on the Athenian Acropolis by Oscar Broneer Kerameikos, Ergebnisse Der Ausgrabungen by Wilhelm Kraiker, Karl Kubler The Kerameikos
Kerameikos
Cemetery, New York Times Kerameikos
Kerameikos
photos

v t e

Pottery of ancient Greece

Aegean

Minyan ware

Minoan

Kamares ware Vasiliki ware

Mycenaean

Sub-Mycenaean

Cycladic

Frying pans

Ancient Greece
Greece
proper

Bilingual Black-figure Black-glazed Ware Bucchero Red-figure South Italian West Slope Ware White ground

Potters

Amasis Ergotimos Euphronios Euthymides Hypereides Nikosthenes Pamphaios Sophilos

Little Masters

Ergoteles Hermogenes Phrynos Tleson

Special
Special
topics

Conservation Corpus vasorum antiquorum Disjecta membra Hellenistic glass LIMC Name vase Slip Symposium Tanagra figurine Terracotta figurines Three-phase firing Vase types

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Museums in Athens

Archaeological

Acropolis Museum Epigraphical Museum Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art Kerameikos Kanellopoulou Museum National Archaeological Museum Stoa of Attalos Old Acropolis Museum Syntagma Metro Station Archaeological Collection Museum of the Center for the Acropolis Studies Athens
Athens
International Airport Archaeological Collection

Byzantine and ecclesiastic

Byzantine and Christian Museum

Ethnological/historical

Athens
Athens
War Museum Drossinis Museum Eleftherios Venizelos Historical Museum Goulandris Natural History Museum Jewish Museum of Greece Museum of the City of Athens National Historical Museum

Folklore

Museum of Greek Folk Art Museum of Greek Folk Musical Instruments Centre for the Study of Traditional Pottery Museum of the History of the Greek Costume

Art museums/galleries

Benaki Museum Emfietzoglou Gallery Museum Frissiras Museum Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum Municipal Gallery of Athens National Gallery (Athens) National Glyptotheque National Museum of Contemporary Art

Industry/technology

Evgenidio Foundation Hellenic Air Force Museum Hellenic Motor Museum Railway Museum of Athens Electric Railways Museum Technopolis (Gazi)

Education/sports/ Special
Special
Interests

Athens
Athens
University Museum Hellenic Children's Museum Hellenic Cosmos Numismatic Museum of Athens Theatrical Museum of Greece Postal & Philatelic Museum of Greece

Museum ships

Georgios Averof Velos D16 SS Hellas Liberty Olympias

v t e

Major landmarks of Athens

Ancient

Acropolis Ancient Agora Arch of Hadrian Areopagus Aristotle’s Lyceum Hadrian's Library Kerameikos Monument of Lysicrates Odeon of Herodes Atticus Panathenaic Stadium Philopappos Hill/Monument Platonic Academy Pnyx Remains of the Acharnian Road, Acharnian Gate and Cemetery Site Remains of the Long Walls Roman Agora Stoa of Attalos Temple of Hephaestus Temple of Olympian Zeus Theatre of Dionysus Tower of the Winds

Byzantine

Agios Eleftherios/Mikri Mitropoli/Panagia Gorgoepikoos Daphni Monastery Holy Apostles Church Kapnikarea Church Pantanassa Church

Ottoman

Fethiye Mosque House of Saint Philothei/Manor house of Benizelos-Palaiologos family Tzistarakis Mosque

Modern

Hansen's "Trilogy"

Academy Kapodistrian University of Athens National Library of Greece

Museums

Acropolis Museum Benaki Museum Byzantine and Christian Museum Museum of Cycladic Art Kerameikos
Kerameikos
Museum National Archaeological Museum National Gallery National Historical Museum Numismatic Museum

Churches

Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens Cathedral Basilica of St. Dionysius the Areopagite

Gardens/Parks

National Gardens Pedion tou Areos

Squares and Neighbourhoods

Anafiotika Kolonaki
Kolonaki
Square Kotzia Square Monastiraki Omonoia Square Plaka Syntagma Thiseio

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Athens
Athens
Concert Hall Gennadius Library National Observatory of Athens National Theatre Old Parliament House Old Royal Palace Olympic Sports Complex Presidential Mansion Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center Zappeion

Marinas

Agios Kosmas Marina Alimos
Alimos
Marina Athens
Athens
Marina (formerly Faliro Marina) Marinas
Marinas
of Glyfada Olympic Marine Floisvos Marina Marina of Vouliagmeni Marina of Zea Marina Tzitzifies

Others

Dionysiou Areopagitou Street Lycabettus Hill

Places adjacent to Kerameikos

Metaxourgeio

Gazi

Kerameikos

Psyri

Thiseio

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Neighbourhoods of Athens

Aerides Agios Eleftherios Agios Panteleimonas Akadimia Akadimia Platonos Acropolis Ampelokipi Anafiotika Ano Petralona Asyrmatos Asteroskopeio Attiki Eleonas Ellinoroson Erythros Stavros Exarcheia Gazi Girokomeio Gyzi Goudi Gouva Ilisia Kallimarmaro Kato Petralona Keramikos Kolokynthou Kolonaki Kolonos Koukaki Kountouriotika Kypriadou Kypseli Kynosargous Lykavittos Makrygianni Metaxourgeio Mets Monastiraki Nea Filothei Neapoli Neos Kosmos Omonoia Pangrati Patisia Pedion tou Areos Petralona Philopappou Plaka Polygono Probonas Profitis Daniil Profitis Ilias Psyri Rizoupoli Rouf Sepolia Syntagma Thiseio Thymarakia Treis

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