Bringing ancient civilization to light

Without the excavations it has carried out in Athens and elsewhere in Greece, our perception of the country’s archaeological map would be quite different. Many monuments would have been destroyed and information on others would have been limited. Athens still has remnants of ancient civilization – including the Acropolis, Philopappou Hill, the Roman Forum and Hadrian’s Library, the Pnyx, Observatory Hill, Kerameikos and Lycabettus – thanks to the Greek Archaeological Society, which has also excavated at Mycenae, Sesklo and Epidaurus. The society has every good reason to celebrate this year, its 170th anniversary. It’s an opportunity to look back at some of its work, which is recorded in its archives and library and is continually being updated. These rich files are considered comparable to that of the great old foreign archaeological schools here, including the French, British and American schools. Four interesting archaeological exhibitions will be taking place over the next two years, beginning this month with a show on the Cycladic civilization in the basement of the society’s headquarters at 22 Panepistimiou Street. For the first time, drawings by the archaeologist Anastassios Orlandos will be shown, along with impressive watercolors of ancient sites. There will also be an exhibit with images of excavations at Akrotiri on the island of Santorini, marking the 40th anniversary of the work begun by Spyros Marinatos.

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