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Travel

An Innovative Digital Platform Reveals a Hidden Past, Just Out of Sight in Modern Athens

ATHENS — Next time you’re hurrying through Syntagma Square, the heart of Central Athens, pause for a moment next to the Metro exit. Look for the traces of an ancient Peisistratid aqueduct and envision the ancient pipeline running underground through the modern urban fabric.

Thanks to the bilingual online map platform designed by the nonprofit Dipylon with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), residents and visitors in the city can discover unknown and unseen aspects of ancient Athens hidden beneath the contemporary urban landscape, from roads, to markets, to buildings, to baths and much more.

The Mapping Ancient Athens project, the first of its kind for the city, overlays the archaeological footprints of different categories of structures, as revealed by 160 years of rescue excavations, on the current streetscape. The digital platform is freely accessible as a resource for researchers and anyone interested in the history and archaeological heritage of Athens.

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