Our knowledge about the past of the city of Athens is based on specific archaeological sites and on systematically excavated monuments that are recognisable and well-studied. But what was the fabric of the ancient city? What have the big excavations for public works and the hundreds of smaller-scale interventions on private plots brought to light? With the aim of shifting the focus of research to the so-called rescue excavations and to urban archaeology, Dipylon is currently creating an original web platform based on an open source software for the preservation and dissemination of the unknown and fragmented archaeological wealth of Athens.
The platform, the content of which will be bilingual (Greek- English) and open-data, will allow advanced search of information on the level of distinct archaeological remains on a digital map, based on type and chronology (i.e. Hellenistic houses or Roman baths). At the same time, reference will be made on primary published as well as archival sources. The innovation of the project lies in the detailed collection and recording in a database of all published archaeological remains revealed in rescue excavations in Athens from the 19th century onwards, combined with spatial and chronological data by using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and similar web technologies (web-mapping).
The project covers an area of 5.9 km2 inside and outside the ancient walls of Athens. It is estimated that the study will incorporate at least 1,500 excavated sites . The final digital map will facilitate research projects on the topography of ancient Athens, and, even more broadly, it will provide a key tool for familiarising every interested person with the multi-layered history of the city through an understanding of the archaeological work.
The project "Mapping Ancient Athens" was implemented with the generous sponsorship of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (grand donor), the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) and the Aegeas Non-Profit Civil Company.