Kerameikos is an archaeological site in Athens which contains the remains an important ancient burial ground as well as a series of famous monuments.
Once home to the city’s potters – hence its name meaning pottery – Kerameikos developed to also become the site of a cemetery. In fact, some of the oldest graves found at Kerameikos date back to as far as the third millennium BC. It would serve this function for centuries, including under the Romans up to the sixth century AD.
Yet, in addition to the burial aspects of Kerameikos, such as the Street of Tombs where prominent figures were laid to rest, the site also contains remnants of the entrance to ancient Athens. Visitors can see the ruins of what was the city wall, including the Sacred Gate and the Dipylon Gate. It is also where the Panathenaic procession – a great ancient Athenian festival – began its route. The ruins of the staging area for this procession – the Pompeion – can be found at Kerameikos.
To see finds from the site, such as vases, visit the Kerameikos Museum.
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