The old cemetery of Kerameikos

kerameikos old cemetary tour"I hold here the child of my daughter, the beloved one, that I held on my lap when we were alive, and enjoyed the sunlight. Now I hold it dead, I , also dead".

This marble grave stele decorated the tomb of Ampharete. It depicts dead Ampharete with her grand child, who both seem to have died at the same time. On the stele's epigram, Ampharete herself seems to speak and mourn their death. The grave stele is in the museum of Kerameikos. Dating back to 430-420 BC.



At Kerameikos, the district where the most important cemetery of Athens used to be, works of high quality plastic art, like this bas-relief stele, decorated the tombs of the wealthy families and distinguished citizens of ancient Athens. Furthermore, Kerameikos was the official burial ground of the Athenians who died during wars. That is the reason why Thucydides characterized Kerameikos as the "most beautiful suburb of Athens. In Ancient times Kerameikos was an area with houses, workshops, gymnasiums, shouting busy life. At Kerameikos, as is obvious by the name of the area, potters and blacksmiths had their workshops. This area, thanks to Eridanos river, provided suitable soil for pottery and water, something necessary for blacksmiths. The history as cemetery started already from the 3rd millennium BC and lasted until the 6th century AD.

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