Ancient Road, Attiki Odos side road, Municipality of Acharnes

Ancient Road, Attiki Odos side road, Municipality of Acharnes

Here is the main route linking the city of Athens with the deme of Acharnai, uncovered between 2000-2002 during the construction of the Attiki Odos motorway and the Suburban Railway. The initial construction phase of the ancient road dates to the classical period (5th century BC), and it appears to have remained in use right up to modern times.

The section uncovered was a total of 210 metres in length, west of Philadelpheias St.. It ran in a NW-SE direction. All that is now visible is a 43-metre section of the southern part of the ancient road. Its width ranges from 2.60 to 3.10 metres. There is evidence of six successive surface layers, dating from Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and later periods. At places on the surface one could see the wheel marks of ancient carriages. The road was buttressed on each side by stone walls, while lower walls perpendicular to the road probably served to mark the boundaries of adjoining estates.

At the point where the modern railway tracks are situated it appears that there was a junction in the road, with one branch leading off in a N-NE direction. At the same location excavations uncovered a roadside shrine dating to the classical period as well as a number of finds such as figurines, miniature and ritual vessels. To the SW of the road a stone conduit was discovered. Another conduit, dating to the classical period (4th century BC), was uncovered to the ΝW of the road measuring 101 metres in length. It was partly cut into the natural rock and covered with large clay tiles. Along the narrow edge of these tiles letters and numerical symbols were incised, probably to help the workmen place them correctly. A boundary stone was found built in the rocks covering the conduit. The conduit initially ran parallel to the ancient road, and then turned off to the west. To its south the foundations of a rectangular, semi-underground chamber of the classical period have been found; here, too, the head of a female terracotta figurine was unearthed.

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The Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attica is a regional service of the Ministry of Culture and Sports

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