The Western Ηills of Athens
May 7, 2017

The Athenian City Walls

The northern part of the city of Athens from the Kleanthis and Schaubert map (1831-32) showing the course of the wall of Haseki (1778). The line of the Themistokleian wall (479/8 BC) is overlaid (in red) based on excavated remains.

This project extends previous and recent studies on the walls of Athens by combining archival research, digital data re-use and documentation of new material to create an integrated spatial data collection, which will allow the investigation of the diachronic transformations of the Athenian fortifications.

The main pillar of this research is the informed development of a modern and efficient digital infrastructure to store, visualise, explore and eventually disseminate resources on the fortifications of Athens in all periods using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

We pursue this task through the digitisation of archaeological data from systematic and rescue excavations (including published archaeological reports, final publications, excavation drawings and photographs).

This process will map onto the modern city canvas the course of the fortifications in different phases in the history of Athens (from the Mycenaean times to the Ottoman period) and record the sections that have been retrieved and still survive to this day.

It is a synthetic approach that aims to redefine the active role of this major monument in the gradual shaping of the cityscape of modern Athens.

View of the ancient city walls of Athens during excavation (1957) for the construction of the edifice on 6, Dragatsaniou str. (reproduced with permission from the Archive of the Archaeological Society at Athens).
View of the staircase at the basement of 6 Dragatsaniou str. with the preserved part of the ancient wall (Α.-Μ. Theocharaki 2015. Τhe ancient walls of Athens. Greek Epigraphic Society: 317).
Detail from the plan for the preservation of the uncovered parts of the ancient city wall of Athens in the basement floor of the edifice on 6 Dragatsaniou str. (S. Staikos 1957).
Map showing the property on 6 Dragatsaniou str. with the archaeological remains discovered during excavation and the course of the ancient wall. The basemaps include the architectural drawing of the building and the cadastral map of the Hellenic Ministry for Public Works (1974).