Greece’s Central Archaeological Council on Tuesday agreed on the specifications of an underground shelter to permanently protect the ancient mass grave containing 80 shackled skeletons found at Paleo Faliro, Athens.
The mass grave, dating back to the 7th century BC, was found at the construction site of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC) in 2016 when works for the new cultural centre were carried out. Excavators at the necropolis found skeletons, victims of mass executions that bear signs of a violent death, with some in chains with their wrists clamped by iron shackles.
“For the first time we can illustrate historical events that took place during the struggle between aristocrats in the 7th century and led, through a long process, to the establishment of a democratic regime in the city of Athens,” project director Stella Chrysoulaki told Archaeology magazine in reference to the discovery in 2016 that is believed to be connected to the Cylonian affair.
The archaeological discovery will now be showcased with a covering in the hope that the area will become accessible to the public in the future.
The three groups of graves will be covered by the construction of a simple and plain underground shell with a descending walkway to blend with the surrounding landscape of the SNFCC Esplanade while also creating a micro-climate to best preserve and protect the find.
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The architectural construction that will make visitors feel as though they are visiting a resting place for the dead rather than another tourist attraction.