The remains of an ancient neighborhood visible under the feet of visitors approaching the entrance of the Acropolis Museum, inaugurated on Thursday night as part of the institution's tenth anniversary events, attracted several visitors on its first day today, Friday.
There will be no extra charge to visitors for the walk-through, which will be included in the Museum ticket.
As of Friday (June 21), visitors will be able to actually walk on protective walkways through the site, covering 4,000 sq. meters, and look down on a neighborhood that was consecutively inhabited from the Classical era to Byzantine times. Informative signs will explain to visitors the main buildings of the site, including houses, crafts shops, baths, streets and a water drainage network. A year from now a large glass case will be added at the entrance with over 1,000 representative objects that will add to the experience of visitors.
The neighborhood was occupied from the 5th century BC to the 12th century AD. From the 4th millennium BC to the end of the Archaic era, the area was not very populous. After 480 BC, when Athens expanded, the site was incorporated in the ancient city and started developing rapidly. It provides a unique historical layering of Athens's different eras.
"This excavation is immensely important," Museum director Dimitris Pantermalis said. "It lies in an area that Thucydides, in his second book of the Peloponnesian War devoted to the history of Athens, says is the oldest in the city." Several sanctuaries and the Olympian Zeus temple were found in the area, he said.