KERAMIKOS (City quarter) ATHENS
Ceramicus. One of the most considerable and important parts of the city of Athens. Its name was derived from the hero Ceramus (Pausan. i. 3), or perhaps from some potteries which were formerly situated there. It included probably the Agora, the Stoa Basileios, and the Poekile, as well as various other temples and public buildings. Antiquaries are not decided as to the general extent and direction of this part of the ancient city, since scarcely any trace remains of its monuments and edifices; but we may certainly conclude, from their researches and observations, that it lay entirely on the south side of the Acropolis.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
The triangle between Assomaton, Ermou and Pireos, the most of which is an archeological site. There is also a grove by the same name.
In the area of the Kerameikos a part of the Themistoklean wall has been uncovered, and two gates, the Dipylon and the Sacred Gates. Within the wall was the Inner Kerameikos. From the Dipylon Gate the Panathenaic Way began, which then cut through the Agora and ended at the Propylaia of the Acropolis. Along this road on both sides were stoas and numerous monuments which are mentioned by Pausanias (1.2.4-5). Parts of the stoas near the Agora have been found, and about at the middle of the road the site of the Monument of Euboulides was discovered. The ruins of three successive buildings uncovered between the Sacred Gate and the Dipylon are the remains of the Pompeion. The oldest dates to about 400 B.C., the second to mid 2d c. A.D., and the third to the 4th c. A.D.
Outside the walls, in the Outer Kerameikos was the main city cemetery. The earliest graves dated to the Submycenaean and Protogeometric periods, but burials in this area, which lies along the banks of the Eridanos River, continued until Late Roman Imperial times. Besides the graves of private persons, this cemetery also held public graves in the so-called state burial ground, where notable Athenians and those killed in war were buried. The private graves were ranged along the Sacred Way, which started at the Sacred Gate and went to Eleusis. They also lined the road to Peiraeus. The peribolos of the Temple of Tritopatres was located at the junction of these roads. The public graves were on both sides of the 39 m wide road that led from the Dipylon Gate to the Academy of Plato. On the left side of the road, at a distance of 250 m from the Dipylon was the site of the Temple of Artemis Ariste and Kalliste. Pausanias (1.29.4) lists the graves of notable men and men fallen in war from this point to the entrance of the Academy.
The entrance to the Academy was about 1500 m from the Dipylon Gate, and had various shrines and altars around it, but none of their sites has been determined. The Gymnasium of the Academy was founded by Peisistratos and was surrounded by a wall under Hipparchos. A large gymnasium dating to the end of the Hellenistic period and a square peristyle of the 4th c. B.C. have been uncovered in the Academy grounds.
J. Travlos, ed.
This extract is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited August 2004 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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