The archaeological site at the second level of MONASTIRAKI Station was delivered to the Metro users.
“Another archaeological site at the Athens Metro network was displayed to the public at MONASTIRAKI Station, at the historic center of Athens, following the efforts made by ATTIKO METRO S.A. and the 1st Department of Byzantine Antiquities of the Ministry of Culture. It is one of the most important technical works dating back to ancient times, the embedded bed of the ancient Iridanos River; the Metro users have the opportunity to admire Iridanos river along with the remaining antiquities which are currently displayed at the location where they were revealed.
The archaeological site is 300m2 long. A pedestrian bridge made of glass, 24m long, crosses the entire site where the vaulted bed of Iridanos River dominates and where you can still hear the river flowing. At the same time, the visitors can also admire the archaeological site of the Station at the Monastiraki Square level through a glass frame especially configured to this end.
The benefit from the construction of the Metro works in Athens and Thessaloniki is surely double: speed, safety, comfort and reliability using the best public transport means combined with invaluable knowledge for our cultural legacy”.
EXCAVATION AT MONASTIRAKI SQUARE – IRIDANOS RIVER
For the Metro construction in the area of MONASTIRAKI, archaeological excavations were carried out and residential remains came to light dating back to the 8th century BC (Geometric Era) up to the 19th century AD.
The basic axis of the town planning in all eras was Iridanos River. Iridanos River had its springs at the foot of Lycabettus, it run through Athens and flowed into Ilissos River. The course of the river was incessant and used to increase during heavy rainfalls. During the Post-Classical Ear (5th – 4th century BC) large conglomerate stones delimited the riverbed, 2.60m wide. Two paths, on the north and south-hand side, set the limits of the building line for the buildings, which commenced to be built on either side of the river. In the era of Adrianos Emperor (117 to 138 AD) Iridanos River was covered with a vault made of bricks, then it was backfilled and turned into a sewer. A large retaining wall was built at the northern boundary of the river in order to retain a wide gallery or a road, while the building line receded by 4.50m. The buildings belonged to private citizens, workshops and warehouses. The remains were dated based on numerous and various finds: marble sculptures and architectural members, mosaic floors, wall paintings (fresco), decorative graved plastering, pots and coins, metal and bone-made objects.