Findings raise several questions

The new finds definitely enrich the body of knowledge regarding archaic sculpture in Athens. However, every new find also gives rise to a series of questions and perhaps leads to an exchange of views between Greek and foreign archaeologists as to where the sculptures should go. Niemeier says that because of their great weight, they cannot be taken far. Then there is the question of how to interpret the presence of the twin kouros figures and whether they were placed at the same grave. The sphinx figures have always been thought to have been positioned at the top of burial columns. At Kerameikos, however, there is some doubt as to whether this was the case or whether the twin sphinx figures framed a grave, perhaps as corner ornaments. The excavation began in mid-March and was completed on April 10. The German Institute had a permit to continue for a short time, which was extended by the relevant archaeology ephorate. Liana Parlama, a Greek Culture Ministry archaeologist, reported to the Central Archaeological Council and obtained a two-week extension to continue the search on the southern end of the Sacred Gate. However, these findings call for further excavations in the area and of course a study of what has been found. As for what the future might bring, there is a chance that more will be found. «We don’t know exactly. After these findings I am not saying anything because we don’t know what surprises are in store,» said Niemeier. The Kerameikos cemetery could be hiding even more statues that might shed more light on the way the area was before the construction of the Themistoclean Walls.