Kerameikos, Athens

Kerameikos, Athens, Greece

Kerameikos is an area of Athens, Greece, located to the northwest of the Acropolis, which includes an extensive area both within and outside the city walls, on both sides of the Dipylon Gate and by the banks of the Eridanos River. It was the potters’ quarter of the city, from which the English word “ceramic” is derived, and was also the site of an important cemetery and numerous funerary sculptures erected along the road out of the city.

Grave shrine from Kerameikos - Aristonautes as warrior - c. 330-310 BC marble h. 2.91mThe “Inner Kerameikos” was the former “potter’s quarter” of the city and “Outer Kerameikos” covers the cemetery and also the public burial monument where Pericles delivered his funeral oration in 431 BC. The cemetery was also where the Ηiera Hodos (the Sacred Way, i.e. the road to Eleusis) began, along which the procession moved for the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The area has undergone a number of archaeological excavations in recent years, though the excavated area covers only a small portion of the ancient dēmos.

Grave relief of Dexileos, son of Lysanias, of Thorikos. Kerameikos museum c. 390 BCIt was originally an area of marshland along the banks of the Eridanos river which was used as a cemetery as long ago as the third millennium BC. It became the site of an organised cemetery from about 1200 BC; numerous cist graves and burial offerings from the period have been discovered by archaeologists. Houses were constructed on the higher drier ground to the south. During the Archaic period increasingly large and complex grave mounds and monuments were built along the south bank of the Eridanos, lining the Sacred Way. (further reading…)

As of spring 2007 Keramikos is the name given to the metro station which belongs to Line 3 of the Athens Metro is adjacent to the Technopolis of Gazi.

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