The ancient Agora of Argos started to be organized during the 5th century B.C.
in the south of the city, on the crossroads from the Heraion of Argos, Corinth
and Tegea. The architectural programme was completed at the end of the 4th century
During the Classical and the Hellenistic periods, the Agora was surrounded
by porticos and buildings which can hardly be distinguished at present under the
later architectural phases.
Amongst the most important uncovered buildings are:
A large hypostyle hall with sides about 32 m long and a roof held by 16 Ionic columns, while
on the main side there was a porch with15 doric columns. It was built around 460
B.C. at the time when Argos adopted the Democratic regime and might have been
A large building, perhaps a 'palaistra', with porticoes of doric columns, was bordering
the southern side of the Agora.
Other excavated remains belong to the starting line of the dromos
of a Stadium, a 'Tholos-Nymphaion' and a semi-circular theatrical construction
which includes the basis of an older altar, perhaps from the sanctuary of Apollo Lykeus.
During the Roman times, many of the existing buildings were altered
in shape and function, mostly into shops and fountains when, in the 2d and 3d
century A.D. a general remodeling of the site took place. Later, during the 4th
century A.D., a last monument of Paganism was built, a hearth
surrounded by boundary steles from the enclosure (peribolos) of an 'heroon' of
the Archaic period dedicated to the 'Seven against Thebes'.
The invasion of the Goths, in 395-396 A.D. accelerated the destruction
and the disappearance of the monuments of the Agora. The center of the city had
The first to undertake excavations in the Agora
was W. Volgraff, a member of the French School of Archaeology, who discovered the
'Hypostyle Hall' in 1904. The archaeological investigations were resumed in 1952
again by the French School of Archaeology and are still going on nowadays with
short interruptions to allow for the study of the material, under the supervision
of members of the School and specially P. Amandry, P. Aupert, J.-Fr. Bommelaer
and J. Des Courtils (the 'Hypostyle Hall'), P. Courbin, F. Croissant, R. Ginouves,
P. Marchetti (the Tholos-Nymphaion), A. Pariente (the Hearth and the archaic peribolos
and the theatrical construction), M. Pierart and G. Roux.