The most complete information guide about Athens, Greece

The Ancient Agora Museum in the Stoa of Attalos in the Ancient Agora


Ancient Agora Museum
(Stoa of Attalos)


The Ancient Agora Museum is housed in the restored Stoa of Attalos, a monument dated to ca. 150 BC. The museum was restored by the American School of Classical Studies between 1953 and 1956 to house the finds from the excavations in the Ancient Agora. In 1957 The Greek state took over the administration and security arrangements for both the museum and the archaeological site.

The museum’s special feature is that its exhibits are directly related to the functions of Athenian democracy, reflecting the role of the Ancient Agora at the heart of the City’s public life. Among the objects associated with Athenian civic life and dating from the 5th to the 2nd centuries BC are a 5th century clepsydra (water clock) used to measure the time in the law courts, 5th century ostraca (inscribed potsherds used in voting to ostracize (expel) famous politicians such as Themistocles and Aristeides, and 4the century bronze ballots also used in the courts of law.

Bronze Nike head, once gilded with inlaid eyes (ca. 425 BC) - Ancient Agora MuseumInscriptions from the 5th to 2nd centuries BC are also exhibited. Among these are an inscribed stele of 337/336 BC during the period of Phyrichus’ archonship, when the people of the city voted a new law against tyranny. On the relief above the decree, democracy is shown crowning the people. Also important is a marble kleroterion (a lottery device used to randomly choose citizens for public posts) used by the Boule (council) during the period of the twelve tribes (3rd-2nd century BC). The military history of the city is portrayed on an inscribed bronze shield, a trophy taken by the Athenians after their victory over the Spartans in the battle of Sphacteria, in 425 BC.

The Ancient Agora Museum also houses finds that reveal the commercial life of the city such as coins from the 6th century BC to 1831 AD , official weights and measures as well as amphorae dating from the 6th century BC to Byzantine times.  The private life of Athenian citizens is reflected in grave goods and large amounts of household equipment,  mostly pottery found in hundreds of excavated wells. Among the most outstanding are:

• an ivory pyxis (jewelry case) from a Mycenaean tomb (ca. 1400 BC) with a scene of griffins
  attacking a deer
• a pair of gold earrings (ca. 850 BC)
• terracotta shoes (ca. 900 BC) from Geometric female burials
• small terracotta animal toys found in a child’s grave of the 4th century AD.

Among the objects of private life are numerous finds from wells, deposits, burials, workshops and shrines. They include:

• terracotta, bronze, ivory and glass objects from the 6th century VC to the 3rd  century ADAryballos (a small flask with a narrow neck) in the form of a kneeling athlete who binds the victor’s ribbon around his head (ca. 530 BC) - Ancient Agora Museum
• terracotta lamps from the 7th century BC to the 11th century AD
• Byzantine and Ottoman period ceramics (10th/12th to the
  17th century)

Important exhibits in the Ancient Agora Museum include various ceramic containers from the 6th century AD, in particular an aryballos (a small flask with a narrow neck) in the form of a kneeling athlete who binds the victor’s ribbon around his head (ca. 530 BC), a red-figure kylix (drinking cup) by Gorgos (ca. 500 BC) and a black-figure krater by Exekias showing a Hermes scene (ca. 530 BC).

Around the peristyle of the ground- and upper floors one can see statues and architectural elements from the 6th century BC to the 3rd century AD. Standing out are:

• a bronze Nike head, once gilded with inlaid eyes (ca.425 BC)
• a marble statue of a winged Nike, possibly an acroterion of the Stoa of Eleutherios (ca.
  415 BC)
• a Nereid statue that is reminiscent of the style of the sculptor Timotheos (ca. 400 BC) and
  which probably was an acroterion of a temple roof
• a fragment of a victory relief in an equestrian contest (ca. 360 BC)
• a marble female bust (late 2nd century AD)
• a herm of a sleepy Silenus (late 2nd century AD)

The Ancient Agora Museum has some outstanding sculptures: the statue of Apollo Patroos, a colossal cult statue by Euphranor (ca. 330 BC) as well as the allegorical female figure of monumental dimensions, either Themis or Democracy, set up in front of the Royal Stoa (ca. 330 BC).

On the upper floor of the Stoa are models of the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis and Pnyx Hill where the people’s assembly met.

Opening hours Opening hours and admission
Location map 24, Adrianou Street
Nearest metro stationMonastiraki
For typical words, please consult our Greek Glossary
Photo gallery See photos of the Ancient Agora Top



Add to Favit Add to Digg Add to Add to Simpy Add to StumbleUpon Add to Netscape Add to Furl Add to Yahoo Add to Google Add to Blogmarks Add to Ma.Gnolia Add to Netvouz


Safe online taxi booking


Safe online ferry tickets booking


Selected Quality hotels, no reservation costs, no hidden costs.


Gay friendly hotels in Athens


Only hotels that pass  our high quality criteria


Find the best hotels, best accomodaton, best prices and deals



    © 2004-2009 - Athens Info Guide - All rights reserved - Disclaimer