The period between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars is the subject of the second room in the exhibition. The bust of Leonidas, dated from 480-470 BC, dominates the room. A rare example of Laconian sculpture, it represents a hoplite, probably the Spartan King Leonidas. Surrounding the bust are arrowheads from the Battle of Thermopylae, a bronze helmet which appears to have belonged to an Assyrian who fought at Marathon or Salamis, a bronze figurine depicting a young female Spartan athlete, and vases. The final exhibits came from a mass grave that was discovered in the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos a few years ago during excavation work for the Athens metro. The grave held the remains of victims of the plague that struck Athens at the start of the Peloponnesian War.

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