The remains of an ancient neighborhood visible under the feet of visitors approaching the entrance of the Acropolis Museum is now fully open to the public for the first time.
The new ”walk-through” exhibits of the neighborhood were inaugurated on Thursday night as part of the museum’s tenth-anniversary events, and it attracted several visitors on its first day of operation on Friday.
The visitors to the Acropolis Museum will be able to actually walk on protective walkways through the site, covering 4,000 square meters, and look down on a neighborhood that was consecutively inhabited by Athenians from the Classical era to Byzantine times.
Acropolis Museum director Dimitris Pantermalis said that this area of Athens that now lies under the museum is immensely important.
“It lies where Thucydides, in his second book of the Peloponnesian War devoted to the history of Athens and says it is the oldest in the city,” Pantermanlis explains adding that ”several sanctuaries and the Olympian Zeus temple were found in the area”.
Informative signs will explain to visitors the main buildings of the site, which include houses, craft shops, baths, public streets, and a water drainage network.
There will be no extra charge to visitors for the walk-through, which will be included in the museum ticket.
In 2020, a large glass case will be added at the entrance with over 1,000 representative objects of the neighborhood that will add to the experience of visitors.
The Athenian neighborhood was occupied from the 5th century BC to the 12th century AD.
From the 4th millennium BC to the end of the Archaic era, the area was inhabited but not very populous.
After 480 BC, when the city of Athens expanded, the site was incorporated in the ancient city and started to develop rapidly.
The site provides a unique historical layering of Athens’ different historical eras.
(With information from AMNA)