Excavations in Athens

How many excavations take place in Athens?

While walking around Plaka streets, you can easily notice ancient remains, but also monuments, part of larger structures that no longer exist, due to many historical destructions that took place in the city.

Athens excavations started shortly after Greece’s Independence, having as protagonist the archaeologist Kyriakos Pittakis or Pittakys. Pittakis was Athenian from Psirri and was really interested in preserving Greek cultural heritage. He founded the Athens archaeological society (1833)  and published an archaeological newspaper (1837) all by himself since 1860. From 1837 to 1840, Pittakis supervised the reassembly of the Erehtheio.

During early time excavations, many mistakes were made, such as the destruction of the Frankish tower on Acropolis, in 1874, funded probably by Schliemann. American School of Classical Studies, founded in Athens in 1881. The architect who has signed most of Ancient Athens maps is Ioannis Travlos, who also studied in Princeton and was a student of Pikionis.

Dimitris Pikionis created the pathway somebody walks today in Pnyx and Philopappou hills (1954-1957). George Sotiriou, a bit earlier, excavated in Athens the destroyed Illisos Vasilika in 1919.

In 1925, negotiations started with American School and Greek state for excavations in Athens, and at 1931 excavations started in ancient Agora, so the existing Vryssaki neighborhood was demolished.

Today in Athens there are based 17 foreign institutions. Today the main excavation is conducted in Athenian Agora.