Syntagma Station – Athens’ Archaeological Wonder
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If you are using the train or the subway station to get around Athens while seeing tourist attractions, then the chances are that you are going to be making connections at Syntagma Station. While in most cities, you will want to hustle through the subway station as fast as you can, that is not true with this central station in Athens. You will want to spend time exploring this beautiful station that opened in 2000.
You cannot dig anywhere in Athens without hitting something of historical importance. Digging for this subway became a major event where archaeologists needed to collaborate with engineers. In the end, the team unearthed over 20,000 artifacts, and you can see many of those when you visit Syntagma Station. Here’s more information:
Creating a Museum at Syntagma Station
To preserve some of the fantastic collection, city officials developed a museum on the top floor of Syntagma Station, and it is one you will want to visit. Behind glass walls, you can see important artifacts from each of Athens’ periods. Neolithic, Classical Greek, Roman, and Byzantine exhibits, like weaving looms and clay amphora, are available for free viewing. Here are some of the items you can see here:
If you have trouble understanding the different periods of history in Greece or want to deepen your understanding, you will want to view the archaeological section. Displayed behind a glass wall, this display allows you to understand what was present at the spot where you are standing over multiple centuries.
4th Century Game Table
One of the more unusual items you may see on your visit is a strategy game table from the 4th century. Carvings on top of this piece of marble indicate that it was once used to play a game like Nine Men’s Morris. The marble is likely from one of Athens’ temples that was destroyed before the game table was constructed from the fragment.
Another item that you can view from the same period is a marble loutrophoros that would have been used to mark a grave. Vessels like this one were put in ancient tombs to hold water during burying rituals. Some vessels like the two-handled one seen at this subway museum were used to carry water for a bride’s prenuptial ritual bath.
3rd Century Pithos With Lid
Another piece that you may see is a pithos with a lid that was made around the 3rd century. Stone containers like this one were used to hold various types of vegetables, olive oil and wine when trading throughout the Mediterranean.
Other Items At Syntagma Station
Elsewhere in the museum, you can see many other things, including:
- Clay lantern from the 6th century AD
- Mosiac floor from the 4th century AD
- Marble gravestones from the Roman period
- Loom weights from the 1st century BC
- Beehive box from the 1st century BC
- Perfume vessels from the 2nd century BC
- Wine amphorae from the 2nd century BC
- Pipes from 1st century BC to 5th century BC
You may want to look at the archeological exhibits at the other metro stations in Athens after you have visited this archeological museum within Syntagma Station. Each display shows items found near that station.
This post was written by Greek Boston