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The Syntagma Metro Station (Red & Blue Lines) Excavations Page 2

the ancient planThe Excavations for the Athens Metro

Displayed in the exhibition area of the station are finds from the excavations made in the course of constructing the Athens Metro, in Syntagma Station its two ventilation shafts in the Zappeion and the Nation Garden. The excavations were conducted by the third Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, in Athens, with personnel, equipment and technical infrastructure provided by Attiko Metro S. A. Essentially it was the contribution of the project contractor, Olympiako Metro, which backed the difficult and painstaking endeavor in every way.

The excavations carried out here (fig 1, 2, 3 see map) was one of the largest in Athens, since the total area investigated, along the Amalia's Avenue and in the eastern part of Syntagma Sq., was 7,500 sq meters. Work began in late 1992 and lasted until mid 1994, with intervening breaks on account of traffic diversions. The many and important finds confirmed the continuous occupation of this area from the classical period to the 19th C, while sporadic evidence of earlier use also came to light. Among the features excavated were the bed of a tributary of the river Eridanos, sections of the classical branches of the Peisistratos Aqueduct, the central roadway to the demes Mesogeia, bronze foundries, cemeteries of the late Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods, a large Late Roman complex with bath installations, a Roman Aqueduct with a very dense network of pipes, a cluster of Early Christian and Byzantine ossuaries (to hold human bones), part of the Byzantine city with built storage jars, a water supply system of the Ottoman period and a sections of Amalia's Street from the reign of King Otto. On completion of the excavations, the most significant and representative architectural remains were removed and placed in a specially arranged park on the University campus of Zographou.

The excavation for the Zappeion ventilation shaft was carried out near the junction of Amalia's Avenue and Vasilissis Olga's Avenues and lasted from mid-1994 to early 1996. The Roman Baths uncovered here are preserved in situ and will be an archeological site open to visitors, incorporated within the project for the unification of archaeological sites of Athens.

The excavation for the National Gardens ventilation shaft took place in the first half of 1995, inside the National Gardens, near Irodou Attika Street and adjacent to the barracks of the Presidential Guard. Among other finds, part of the Peisistratean aqueduct, an Early Roman cemetery, 15 rooms of a larger Roman public building and part of the central drainage-sewagage networks of the period were revealed.

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