Sunday, September 2:  After my lunch and making my way through the markets, I head to Kerameikos, the potters’ quarter of the city, from which the English word “ceramic” is derived.  This was also the site of an important cemetery from the 12th century BC to Roman times, as well as numerous funerary sculptures erected along the road out of the city towards Eleusis.

It is quite a long walk in the sun along a pedestrian walkway, and I am struck by all the graffiti on the walls along the path (See my earlier post: graffiti in athens: youth crying out to be heard in the midst of economic crisis?).  When I go inside, I am happy to escape into the air-conditioned Kerameikos Museum, a small neoclassical building that houses an extensive collection of burial-related artifacts, varying from large-scale marble sculpture to funerary urns, jewelry, toys, etc. The original burial monument sculptures are displayed within the museum, having been replaced by plaster replicas on the original grounds. The museum incorporates inner and outer courtyards, where the larger sculptures are kept.

sculptures inside the museum

interesting urns??

I like these little bowls with the horses on top

Outside on the grounds, the shade provides some relief from the heat.  I don’t study what’s what because at this point, I’m simply hot and exhausted.  I just wander about aimlessly taking pictures of random interesting things.  I should be more of a historian, and I often wonder why I don’t take more interest in these things.  Yet.  I do them because they are the “should do” things in a place.  So here are my random pictures of the grounds of this ancient cemetery.

on the grounds of Kerameikos


other interesting markers at Kerameikos


Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) Church

The Sacred Gate was one of the gates of the city wall built by Themistocles in 478 B.C.   It allowed the passage of the river Eridanos and of the Sacred Way, the processional way that led to Eleusis. It was protected by two square towers and had a courtyard divided into two parts, one of which was occupied by the bank of the river.

the Sacred Gate

At this point I have to confess that I’m not really paying attention to ancient history.  It is now getting close to the time I need to make my way back to the hotel and then make my way to the airport for my flight to Crete.  I am tired of ancient things and am looking forward to exploring and relaxing in the Greek islands.

About nomad, interrupted

As of August 10, 2017, I'm now taking a break from living abroad. I'm living in Oakton, Virginia and looking for my next opportunity. Last year, I lived in China and taught English at Sino-Canadian International College. I also taught at a university in Nizwa, Oman for two years, and in Korea's public schools for one year. I love to travel and have been to 30 countries.

14 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on a nomad in the land of nizwa and commented:

    my last visit to ancient places in Athens….

  2. adinparadise says:

    Thanks so much for the tour again, Cathy. I also love that bowl with the three horses on top. Those graves look very stark. Are the bodies actually above the ground in them? I guess they must be. 🙂

  3. Carol says:

    I am not so much of a historian, but it’s very interesting to see these bits of history and to learn some about them. I tend to get more interested in the people involved in historic places and events. The Greek Islands sound like a little bit of heaven right now though, I must admit.

    • Yes, I know it is interesting to learn something from these places. I often found myself learning something AFTER the fact. I never took the time to read about things before I saw them, which would have been helpful, but I would read over my Lonely Planet at night after I had seen the things….

  4. Marco says:

    I love all this history and these old buildings and places! Do you really think the bodies are gone? Pity but it’s probably to be expected – they had to smoke something way back then!

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