History of the American School 1939-1980- Chapter VIII

A History of the American School of Classical Studies, 1939-1980

Chapter VIII: The Athenian Agora Excavations

Thirty-five years after the beginning of the Corinth Excavations the other major excavation of the School was undertaken in 1931. Thanks to the vision and to the intense efforts of Edward Capps (Pl. 9, a), then Chairman of the Managing Committee, in both Greece and the United States and to the active interest of Abraham Flexner of the General Education Board who first aroused the interest of the original donor, the School was offered by the Greek Government the permit to excavate the heart of the ancient city of Athens, and Mr. John D. Rockefeller Jr. (Pl. 7, b) provided the funds for the enterprise. The excavations, under the Direction of Theodore Leslie Shear (Pl. 9, a), began in 1931 and by the outbreak of World War II had uncovered the bulk of the 16-acre area designated by the Greek Government, to Greek levels over much of the area, to Roman or only to Byzantine levels in other parts (Lord, History, pp. 231-244). Shear had estimated about ten years and a million dollars and had kept remarkably close to his estimate. There remained, according to that original estimate, two more years of digging to be done, the museum to be constructed, and the landscaping to be carried out, as required by the agreement. As noted above (p. 2), the 1940 season was devoted chiefly to packing away and taking what protective measures were possible for the antiquities which had been uncovered, both the site and the movable finds, and for the records. Already the excavation had gained international recognition for its revelations of Athenian history, topography and monuments (architectural, sculptural and ceramic), for its prompt publication and for its records admirably organized and generously shared with other classical scholars.

Sophokles Lekkas (Pl. 8, b), the chief foreman, and his family continued to live in the excavation area throughout the war, guarding every centimeter of it with his full measure of devotion (above, p. 12), and Eugene Vanderpool and John Travlos (Pl. 13, b and c) continued their scholarly work while keeping their watchful eyes on everything as long as they were able (above, p. 15) in full confidence that work would be resumed at the close of the conflict. Damage to the excavations during the war was minimal.

Mention has been made earlier (above, pp. 1-3, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17-18, 25, 27) of the activity of some of the Agora staff during the war. The man who was to become the Field Director after the war, Homer Armstrong Thompson (Pls. 8, b; 13, a), who had been a Fellow from the beginning of the undertaking, joined the Canadian Navy early in the conflict and served actively throughout the whole period. Lent by the Canadian Navy to the Royal Navy, he was responsible for naval intelligence in the Mediterranean from headquarters in Bari, Italy. On assignment to Athens at the beginning of the Civil War in Greece (November to December 1944), he was captured by EΛAΣ forces when he went on a visit of mercy to one of the School’s Greek archaeological colleagues and warm friends; he was released after a few days. He was able to cast an eye at least on the excavation area and the School before returning to his post to continue his distinguished wartime service.

More, however, than the world conflict was besetting the Agora excavations in these war years. The generous funds donated by Mr. Rockefeller, which had been estimated as sufficient to complete the projected work, had given out in June 1942. The Trustees in October 1942 recognized, nevertheless, the responsibility of the School to complete the undertaking as planned and to keep the School’s commitment to the Greek State. They voted that the necessary future work should be carried on with School funds and directed the Managing Committee to appoint a Committee on the Agora Excavations and Museum to handle the affairs. This appeared to be an academic matter until cessation of hostilities, for no salaries for the skeleton staff could be sent to Greece. But before the war was over another blow had been struck; the Director of the Athenian Agora Excavations since their inception in 1931, T. Leslie Shear, died on July 3, 1945. Professor Shear had numerous qualities which contributed greatly to the School over many years, generosity, vision, vigorous action, but the one for which he will be best remembered and for which the School is most in his debt was his remarkable ability to select a staff of excavation workers of unusual capabilities, to forge them into a harmonious team and to keep them together in their hard-working activities of field work, study and publication, inspired by his own energy and scholarly care for meticulous observation and recording and prompt sharing of results with the scholarly world.

At its December meeting in 1945 the Managing Committee authorized as staff for the Agora, to resume work in spring 1946, six of that pre-war staff which Shear had put together: Margaret Crosby, Alison Frantz, Lucy Talcott, Eugene Vanderpool, Rodney Young, and Homer Thompson as Acting Field Director, with John Travlos the School architect. The following year Homer Thompson was made Field Director, the post in which he continued until his retirement on December 31, 1967, a date far beyond anything envisaged in 1947. Eugene Vanderpool also began his service for the same period as Deputy Field Director when Thompson was in the United States. The fact that Vanderpool was also Professor of Archaeology of the School throughout these years is indicative of the close relation of the Agora with the School. The School had indeed taken on the financial responsibility of completing the original project as planned, and the Agora had become an integral part of the School’s activities under the general supervision of the Director of the School. A quotation from a letter to Chairman Lord from Director Carl Blegen on December 1, 1948 expresses well the atmosphere created: “I feel very strongly that we need a united effort in support of all School enterprises and I want to do all I can to keep the latter from becoming too narrowly compartmentalized. It seems to me it would be deplorable to have one undertaking of the School set up as a rival and competitor of another; I should like to see all carried on harmoniously with mutual help. I am confident we can work it out satisfactorily at this end and I know you can do so at yours.” Field Director Homer Thompson shared this view, and their harmonious cooperation set the pattern for the next two decades. To the old well-established staff (to which Dorothy Burr Thompson returned in 1947) Thompson added, beginning in 1947, members of the School, first-year and second-year, at first as volunteers in the inside work, then as field supervisors and to study material for publication. Some of these stayed as members of the staff for many years as they worked on publication; others worked for relatively short periods. Homer Thompson had in common with his predecessor Leslie Shear that gift of creating from however divergent personalities a common devotion to the common ideal, which was so much larger than one individual that all worked as a team toward a common goal, each sharing with all his discoveries, his ideas, his concerns; thus each part of the enterprise had the advantage of the best considered thought of the group and of innumerable visiting scholars who shared the discussions. This was the quality of the men and women who began work in the spring of 1946, worked together through 1967, and some of whom continue now (1980) to complete the study for publication.

Work in the field was resumed in 1946 on a very small scale by special permit from the Greek Government to do supplementary work in areas already dug and to begin investigation of the site which had been selected for the museum by the joint decision of the Greek Goverment and the School (above, p. 29). No large-scale excavation was being permitted anywhere in Greece immediately after the war. The supplementary work in 1946 for study and publication took place in the Odeion, the Library of Pantainos, and the Altar of the Twelve Gods, and the new excavation for the museum was begun west of the Areopagus in the valley. In 1947 permission was given for larger-scale work on the museum site in the effort to complete the excavation and begin construction. Streets lined with private houses and shops and a trapezoidal enclosure (later identified as the Strategeion) were found, and to clarify the approach to that area the southwest corner of the Agora was further cleared, revealing the west end of the Middle Stoa with the Civic Offices and 14th-century chamber tombs and geometric graves. By 1948 work on the museum site had shown that this residential-industrial area of the Classical period was too important to be covered and a new museum site must be found. Preliminary plans had already been drawn for a museum for which Rockefeller funds specifically provided. In the course of considering every possible location adjacent to the excavated area someone suggested a wholly new idea: why not restore the Stoa of Attalos for use as a museum and thereby do two things at once: provide museum, storage and work space and make available by restoration the largest and finest example of a stoa, that type of building in Greek architecture which served for every kind of secular need save domestic, political or dramatic.

The story of how the School accepted the terrific challenge posed by such an undertaking had best be considered a bit later (see below, pp. 182-187). Here we are concerned with the excavation which resulted from the decision taken in early 1949 to rebuild the Stoa of Attalos. After clearing away the mass of architectural blocks within the Stoa, the areas both behind it and in front of it were dug as well as those inside the limits of the building. Digging within the north end of the Stoa of Attalos preparatory to strengthening the foundations revealed the highly informative remains of law courts underlying that end. Meanwhile in 1949 work continued at the southwest corner of the Agora in the 5th-century building and private houses. In 1950 as work continued in the Stoa of Attalos through special funds (see below, p. 182), the School continued to support the completion of the other areas of the Agora needing further investigation than had been possible before 1939. The School could contribute about $20,000 a year; the remaining roughly $80,000 a year necessary for the three years proposed at that time had to be found from gifts solicited each year. Several trustees and other friends whom the Chairman of the Managing Committee and the Field Director interested in the project made it possible (see below, p. 183). In 1950 this work moved from the southwest corner to the north central area, north of the Odeion, and revealed the Altar of Ares and the Roman Northeast Stoa (later recognized as part of the Hadrianic Basilica); in 1951 work continued between the Stoa of Attalos and the Panathenaic Way, between the Odeion and the railroad and between the Temple of Ares and the great marble altar to the south, as well as on the south side of the square at the east end of the area between the Middle and South Stoas. Work in 1952 continued in three general areas, north of the Temple of Ares, both east and west of the Odeion and around the Church of the Holy Apostles, uncovering the round Roman peripteros in front of the Stoa of Attalos at the north, the Roman temple just north of the west end of the Middle Stoa, the east end of the Middle Stoa, the Southeast Fountain House, and 15th- to 10th-century b.c. tombs.

Activity in 1953 was concentrated on the south side where the west ends of the South Square and Middle Stoa and the horos-stone of the Agora at that point were found; the South Stoa was cleared under the old excavation houses some of which were now torn down. By the end of 1953 all the Agora proper (except the area north of the railroad which was not included in the original concession) had been excavated at least to Roman Imperial levels, and all the major buildings of classical Greek as well as Roman times had been cleared though not studied in detail. The plan embarked upon after the war had been carried out. Meanwhile work on the Stoa of Attalos continued each year to add much light to the buildings under its north end and to discover wells with remarkable contents of classical pottery.

Much supplementary investigation was needed in many of the areas; the next four years, 1954 to 1957, saw that work on a smaller, more detailed scale continue, thanks to generous contributions from friends of the Agora, notably Mr. John Crosby, which supplemented regular School funds. Both the east and west ends of the south side were examined more closely: the Nymphaeum and the Mint near the Church of the Holy Apostles where restoration was in progress (see below, pp. 187-188) and the Fountain House at the east, the Heliaia, the other Fountain House and Simon the shoemaker’s shop at the west. In connection with the landscaping program in 1955 the lowering of Asteroskopeiou Street, which had led to the excavation houses, showed that this was a roadway at least from the Bronze Age, that beneath it ran the aqueduct to feed the Southwest Fountain House and the terracotta pipes for the Southeast Fountain House and that houses bordered it from Archaic times. Further work in the southeast corner cleared up details. In 1956 the final clearing of the old museum site at the southwest was completed, and in 1957 the private houses on the northwest and north slopes of the Areopagus were investigated to tidy up that edge of the market place.

There was still considerable ground along the north slope of the Areopagus which needed investigation, as well as an area along the east side, south of and above the Library of Pantainos, which should be cleared to facilitate retaining walls, fencing and guarding along the north and east sides of the whole excavated area. The financing of the excavation, conservation and whole overhead for the indoor activity of recording, study and publication in the years since 1946 had come from the School’s own meager resources by cutting down hard in all other departments and by generous gifts from several of the Trustees and other friends of the School as part of the great two-million-dollar drive (see below, p. 183). The enormous effort for new funds to restore the Stoa and “complete” the excavation had drained every possible resource; there was nothing left, and there was no possibility of the School financing the further excavation, desirable though that was.

Although the original commitment of the School could be considered completed without this additional territory up the slopes, it was so desirable to improve the whole area turned over to the Greek Government on June 3, 1957 that Mr. Rockefeller was approached once more in the hope that he would support that rounding off of the area but most particularly the publication of the whole enterprise (see below, p. 260). He saw the need and added further to the debt of gratitude the School owed him by giving $550,000 of which $100,000 was for publication. The remainder of this Agora Phase B Fund was to be used in three years, specifically for the purchase of six houses on the east and the excavation on both east and south of the square in the years 1958–1961. The houses along the north slope of the Areopagus dug in 1958 rounded out the group dug earlier and show a most interesting residential area of Athens from the 6th century b.c. to the 6th century after Christ. On the east side further stretches of the Panathenaic Way, the Post-Herulian Fortification Wall of the late 3rd century after Christ and all but the east side (outside the excavation limits) of the Eleusinion were cleared in 1958 and 1959. The Mint and South Stoa II were fully uncovered, and the Southeast Temple and the Ionic colonnade along the road found. Important sculptural, architectural and epigraphical documents were recovered including inscriptions to identify the Eleusinion definitely and a remarkable set of Ionic columns, certainly from a significant Periclean structure. Thorough excavation of the Heliaia in the southwest corner followed in 1960, and the history of law courts in this area was much clarified. Evidence for the complete desolation of the south side, from its destruction by Sulla until Hadrianic times, was of high historical interest. With the completion of the study of the Heliaia, the Southwest Fountain House and the southwest entrance to the Agora in 1961, Agora Phase B came to a close. The staff was reduced to the bare minimum, and all attention was concentrated on study for publication, which had occupied some members of the staff ever since 1947.

As this study of the buildings along the south side of the square went forward supplementary investigation became essential and was generously financed by Margaret Crosby, Peter Demarest, the University of Washington, and Brown University: the Koletti House garden in 1965 by Brown, the South Square and Southwest Fountain House in 1965 and 1966, the South Stoa, the west end of the Middle Stoa and the Eponymous Heroes in 1967. Throughout all the seasons of excavation from 1946 to 1967 the veterans Eugene Vanderpool and Margaret Crosby, joined in many of those years by Dorothy Thompson, were the excavators, augmented in the seasons of larger-scale work by younger students of the School. “D B T” had begun work with the first season 1931, “E V” the following year 1932, and “Missy Crosby” in 1935. These three along with “H A T” himself, who was one of the original Fellows in 1931, should be mentioned as those who gave of their remarkable skill, patience, precision of observation and recording, understanding, for over thirty years of field work to make the results of the Agora excavations the outstanding historical contributions they are.

Thanks to a special gift for the purpose from Miss Alice Tully it was possible in 1963 and 1964 for Alison Frantz to investigate thoroughly an area on the edge of the Agora in which small-scale work had been carried out previously. The terrace on the north side of the Areopagus, on which the ruins of the church of St. Dionysios the Areopagite were known, had often been thought of as a possible ancient site of significant interest. No ancient remains were found, in fact no construction of any kind before the 16th century when the church, largest of the churches in Athens erected during the four centuries of Turkish occupation, was built with the archepiscopal palace alongside.

Conservation had been going on ever since 1949 as the final study of each building was completed, the Odeion and Tholos in 1949, the Temple of Ares, Altar of Ares, Altar of Zeus Agoraios, Stoa of Zeus in 1952, the New Bouleuterion, Propylon, Metroon and Great Drain in 1953. At the same time the east frieze of the Hephaisteion was cleaned for detailed study and photography, and in 1959-60 the west doorway from the period of the church was restored and the peristyle leveled and graveled. The water clock at the west end of the Middle Stoa was protected in 1959, and there was other conservation work north of the Temple of Ares. In 1963-64 the Southeast Temple was put in order, the church of St. Dionysios in 1964, houses between the Areopagus and the Pnyx in 1964 and 1965, the South Square in 1965.

Meanwhile the two provisions in the original contract for the excavation, to erect a museum and to landscape the area as a park, had been fulfilled. In some measure they had, through the years, all but overshadowed the actual excavation activity, so widely had they affected all departments and all personnel of the School (see above, p. 180). When the decision to rebuild the Stoa of Attalos was agreed upon by the School and Greek authorities in 1949, it was the most monumental and daring undertaking to which the School had ever committed itself. The initial work of clearing the site of encumbering blocks, beginning investigation of the foundations and opening space around the Stoa had the timely support of the United States Government in its Economic Cooperation Administration (E.C.A.) program. When it was decided that a significant part of restoring the economy of Greece after the war would be to assist in rebuilding its museums, Carl Blegen labored unceasingly to bring the museum for the Agora excavations into that program. The $100,000 first projected for it in 1949 was unfortunately cut to $20,000 because of greater military needs, but with that amount awarded to the Ministry of Education of the Greek Government, the Archaeological Service asked the School to carry out the work on behalf of the government and under the general oversight of Professor Orlandos, head of the Service. Funds were renewed for 1950 (by September 1950 the drachmai equivalent of $38,000 had been expended) and 1951, but the whole E.C.A. museum and monuments plan ended on December 31, 1951, in spite of strenuous efforts by many in Greece, not least the School’s Director, John L. Caskey, who worked very hard to try to have it continued. By October 1951 the first shipment of the limestone from Piraeus for the reconstruction of the basement storage rooms had been received; it had been purchased with the last allotment of the Marshall Plan money. In 1950 a technical survey of the existing walls and an estimate for the restoration following the original design as recovered by John Travlos’s study had been made by the Greek engineer George Biris; the estimate came to $1,200,000. With the further funds needed to complete the planned excavation it was clear that the School was faced with a two-million-dollar project, of which Mr. Rockefeller’s original $150,000 for a museum was the only cash in hand. It was a staggering prospect.

This was the challenge accepted by Charles Morgan when he became Chairman of the Managing Committee in 1950. With the enthusiastic support of the President of the Trustees, Ward Canaday, he set out to find not only the two hundred thousand dollars needed for the excavations (above, p. 178) but the whole “two million for completing the Agora and its museum project.” Every member of the School’s organization put his full effort behind the Morgan-Canaday-Thompson leadership spearheaded by the Morgan tireless energy and confidence in the outcome. By December 1951 the initial hundred thousand for the excavation had been raised, and by May 1952 “a substantial amount toward the second hundred thousand” was in hand. Then came the break and the specific challenge. Due to the combined efforts of those three leaders “an interested donor gave the School a quarter of a million dollars and guaranteed, once the School had matched this sum, to add a dollar to every dollar secured elsewhere up to an overall total of two million,” if raised by April 30, 1954, later extended to December 31, 1954. The hundred thousand already raised and the hundred and fifty thousand on hand for the museum matched that quarter million, and by May 1952 the second quarter million was well launched. In May 1953 half the two million goal had been reached, and by December 31, 1954, thanks to feverish activity, the School had raised so close to its million that the donor, now known as the Agora’s benefactor from the beginning, Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr., completed the two million. That two million budget held up well until 1955-56 when the increase in prices both in Greece and in the United States made an overrun of over a hundred thousand dollars. This was a staggering blow which threatened the whole School, but the generosity of the Trustees, particularly John Nicholas Brown, Ward Canaday, and Arthur Vining Davis, took care of the deficit in the project they had backed so wholeheartedly from the beginning. It was the initial contributions of Mr. and Mrs. William T. Semple that had set off the drive for funds for the Stoa, followed by the large pledge from Mr. Davis, which actually set the fund in motion. The Treasurer’s final report to the Trustees in December 1957 gave the total cost of restoration of the Stoa, installation of the museum, and landscaping as $2,173,785.17.

When half the two million had been raised there seemed sufficient assurance of raising the funds needed to reconstruct the Stoa for the School to authorize the construction which had been in abeyance since the E.C.A. funds ceased. The architectural firm of W. Stuart Thompson and Phelps Barnum was given the contract, and work began in summer 1953. Both Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Thompson and Mr. and Mrs. Ward Canaday were in Athens for the inauguration of the work. W. Stuart Thompson, Fellow in Architecture of the School 1913–1915, had been the architect of all School buildings, beginning with the addition to the main building of the School in those years and continuing with the Gennadeion and Loring Hall. His knowledge of Greece and its customs, his understanding of Greek officials and Greek workmen as well as his devotion to the School made him the natural choice. He went to Athens frequently throughout the construction to oversee in person, to iron out problems, to expedite when difficulties and delays arose. His supervising engineer who guided the whole construction with consummate skill and diplomacy from fall 1953 to the final turning over of the completed building in June 1957 was Manuel Tavarez. George Biris who had made the original survey was consulting engineer, and John Travlos, as Architect of the Agora Excavations, was responsible for adherence to the original design of the Stoa. The whole work continued as it had begun in 1949 under the general supervision of the Department of Restoration of the Ministry of Education headed by Professor Orlandos.

A survey of the foundations revealed the alarming fact that the underlying bedrock, through the action of ground water, had deteriorated to a point where it could not be trusted to bear the weight of the reconstructed building. The spongy rock was therefore removed and replaced with concrete under the outer walls, and the building was encircled by a deep drain to protect it against ground water. Both measures have proven highly effective.

The next problem (and it continued to be the No. 1 problem for some time) was the supply of limestone and marble for the construction. While the reinforced concrete piers in the basement were being poured, the stone was being quarried and delivered for the rebuilding of the walls and columns. The Department of Restoration of the Greek Ministry of Education had already (when E.C.A. funds were still being used) reactivated the ancient limestone quarry on the peninsula of Akte on the slope of Mounychia at the mouth of Piraeus harbor. An arrangement was made whereby the School operated the quarry in collaboration with the Ministry represented by Professor Orlandos and Mr. Stikas. Unfortunately since the stone is soft, often with flaws, it did not produce the well-squared blocks needed for some parts of the building; the School, therefore, entered into contract with Mr. Monoysios of the Drapetsona quarry on the western side of Piraeus to supply some stone. This arrangement was advantageous; the Akte stone was used for terrace walls and interior walls, the Drapetsona for the upper exterior walls. No sooner was the limestone problem settled than the marble became an even greater difficulty, but after no little examination of quarries and negotiations the Dionysos- Pentelikon Company supplied the blocks from quarries on the far side of Pentelikon. At first all the stone work was done by hand with the traditional tools, but the use of a circular motor-driven saw, which began in April 1954, speeded the work considerably. The original plan approved in 1953 was to restore only two thirds of the full length of the original building; as work progressed it became obvious how unsatisfactory such a truncated structure would look and how much it would be worth the additional cost (which somehow must be met) to reconstruct the entire building. The Trustees in January 1955 authorized the restoration of the whole Stoa. By April 1955 shelving was being installed in the basement storerooms, the concrete slabs for the main floor and terrace were in place, the back wall and the front wall of the shops were up through the first storey, 16 of the total 45 Doric columns and eight of the 22 Ionic columns were up and the entablature in place over seven inter-columniations. The process of reconstruction was not at all without value for the staff and students of the School in their proper business as students of ancient ways; the light shed on ancient construction was of genuine scholarly value. For example, the laying in place of the blocks of the entablature was done with the same method and tools as the ancients used. The fluting of one Doric column required 76 man days at a cost of 10,000 drachmai ( = $350 at the contemporary exchange); the fluting of one Ionic column of the Erechtheion is known from the epigraphical record to have taken 150 days, since it cost 150 drachmai and a day’s wage in the Periclean period was one drachma. The Erechtheion columns are of somewhat greater height, and the Ionic flute required more work than the Doric. At the height of the construction in April 1955, 150 workmen were employed including 50 master marble cutters, 20 carpenters, and five steelworkers; their pay ranged from $1.50 per day for unskilled to $4.00 for highly experienced marbleworkers and carpenters. In general charge of the workmen was Costas Mastoris, the master Stone Cutter; under his supervision were his nephews Stelios and Theodoros, one foreman of stoneworkers, the other of the marbleworkers.

In January 1956 the second storey was begun, and by April the lower storey was complete, most of the second storey and about one third of the roof. The Trustees had been so encouraged at their meeting on December 14, 1955 by the progress of the work that they had decided to dedicate the building at the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the School to be held at the beginning of September 1956. All efforts on the part of workmen, supervisors, Agora staff and School officers (Pl. 9, b) were bent to have the building substantially complete structurally and the exhibition in the main gallery and in two shops on the first floor ready by that September 3rd deadline. No one was more concerned than the President of the Trustees. Ward Canaday had thrown the full force of his driving energy into the restoration from the time he determined to raise the necessary funds all through the three years of construction. There was no detail he did not follow and act upon. He kept in constant touch by correspondence (often as many as four or five letters a day to one or two of them), telephone, and personal interview with the Chairman, the Field Director, the Director, and the architect. He went to New York frequently and summoned Morgan and Homer Thompson to conferences with him and with Stuart Thompson, and he went to Athens and talked to everyone connected with the enterprise there, including the workmen on the construction, all of whom he took on a picnic by the sea one hot summer afternoon. He drove them all to meet the deadline, and he drove himself to keep everyone as full of enthusiasm as he.

The Director of the School and the Field Director were dealing hourly with the providers of the material to get it delivered for use. Earlier it had been limestone and marble, now it was timber (see below) and roof tiles. In the end only the front half of the roof tiles was in place by September 3rd because of the difficulties in getting the vast quantity needed; they were made by the leading tile-maker in Greece, the Kriton Dilaveris firm. Harmony had to be maintained between Athens and the United States. Everyone saw that prices were rising and that funds would not be adequate if construction were protracted; it was a matter of funds as much as celebration date that kept everyone in authority pressing hard to complete the project. The Field Director was not only dealing with all these matters of construction, with the President of the Board and the architect, with the purveyors of material and those who worked it and set it in place, but he was also directing the staff in the installation of the exhibits and working with the Director of the School over details of the celebration. Arbitrator of all these persons and their often divergent needs and pleas and points of view, in spite of their common dedication to a goal shared by all, the Chairman of the Managing Committee, Charles Morgan, stood like a colossus astride the tide. The achievement celebrated by the dedication on September 3rd (above, pp. 62-64) was not merely a triumph of international organization, of industry, of master craftsmen; it was a monument (Pl. 5, a) to the tireless dedicated planning and endless hard work of all associated with the School as well as the diplomacy and inspired leadership of the four men who made it happen (Pl. 9, b).

As soon as the dedication had taken place the construction workmen continued to install the ceilings in the rooms (after a fruitless search in Europe for suitable timbers to support the upper floor and roof, laminated woodwork of Douglas fir was brought from the American northwest), to lay the remaining roof tiles and to make the cabinets for the second-storey study collections. The Agora staff who had already moved the epigraphical collection and the cans of context pottery into the basement storage rooms in 1955, as well as the major small pieces into the exhibition cases in the main gallery for the dedication, set to the tremendous task of transferring all the remaining collection from the old excavation houses (Pl. 16, a) to the new museum. The target date for closing the old buildings and reducing the staff drastically was the end of 1956. Many volunteers from the members of the School and friends worked with the staff to move the architectural and sculptural pieces which were not to be exhibited publicly, the household pots and the amphoras not in the amphora room of the first storey into the basement storerooms and to install in the cabinets near the offices on the second floor the significant pottery groups and outstanding small finds not in the main gallery. By January 1957 the offices were installed and work had begun on transporting the sculpture and the prize pieces of architecture and setting them up in the colonnades (Pl. 5, b). With the reduced staff of workmen this was a major undertaking and continued even after the Stoa of Attalos Museum was officially turned over to the Greek Government on June 3, 1957. The School retained control of the storerooms, workrooms and study collections, but the building as a whole, the museum areas open to the public, the excavation and the park were formally put into the hands of the Greek Ministry of Education which henceforth assumed responsibility for maintenance and security.

Another restored building was dedicated in that historic ceremony of September 3, 1956. The Archaeological Service had indicated the desirability of removing the 19th-century narthex from the Byzantine Church of the Holy Apostles in order to recover the original west facade and facilitate preservation of the structure. The scholars on the Agora staff responsible for the study of the Byzantine antiquities from the excavation, Alison Frantz and John Travlos, welcomed the opportunity to study the building which stands in the southeast corner of the Agora, no longer an active church, its parish having been removed. The Service granted permission to strengthen the fabric as might be found necessary and to restore the church to its original form as the investigation revealed it. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation of New York took an interest in the undertaking and made grants totaling $30,000 for the work. Excavation of the church both inside and out was conducted by Alison Frantz in spring 1954, after which the 19th-century western addition was removed and restoration begun in the fall. The original 11th-century, symmetrical cross-in-square plan with each of the four arms ending in an apse had a three-domed narthex on the west; it is an unusual design of special interest. When the walls had been strengthened, three columns in dangerous condition replaced, marble slab floor relaid, ikonastasis restored from fragments found in the exploration, windows of the cupola opened and glazed and original narthex rebuilt, the surviving paintings were cleaned. In the new narthex were set the 17th-century paintings removed before the war from the Chapel of St. Spyridon and from the church of St. George in the ancient Temple of Hephaistos. The landscaping of the churchyard was helped by the generosity of ladies from Providence, Rhode Island. A gem of Byzantine Athens has been made to give much if not all (without its full complement of paintings) its original effect. Thanks to the two restorations in the Agora the visitor to Athens can now stand between the great Hellenistic monument, the Stoa of Attalos, with its spacious colonnades which provided shelter from sun, wind or rain for hundreds of people bent on various business errands throughout the late Hellenistic and Roman Imperial centuries, and the little Christian monument of the mid-Byzantine era which has continued to serve its faithful parishioners through nearly nine centuries. Few such visitors, who can also look across the Agora to the remarkably preserved Temple of Hephaistos from the days of Athens’ greatness in the 5th century B.C., fail to be moved by these vivid memorials of two great styles of the world’s architecture, both of them expressions of the genius of a people with a continuous tradition of greatness of human spirit.

At the same time that the reconstruction was under way on the Stoa of Attalos and the Church of the Holy Apostles, one other commitment was being carried out, the landscaping of the whole excavated area. In August 1953 Ralph E. Griswold, a prominent landscape architect of Pittsburgh, went to Athens to consider the situation, draw up a plan and make an estimate which he submitted in October 1953. An urgent drive for funds from January to June 1954 with the active interest of garden groups in both the United States and Greece proved so encouraging that in June he was authorized to proceed. Work was begun on November 8, 1954, with Ralph Griswold actively supervising the entire operation. He became immediately another one of the devoted Agora family. Former Fellow, Research Fellow, and Landscape Architect in Residence of the American Academy in Rome, he was at home in the Mediterranean, understanding and sympathetic to its people. He had not only studied in Italy; he had designed and directed the landscaping of the American Military Cemetery at Anzio. He and the Field Director shared the same fundamental conviction about what the design for the Agora should be: the plants must all be native to Greece and so far as research could determine those plants which were known to the ancient Greeks and so likely to have grown in Athens in classical times. Such specific trees or shrubs as were mentioned in ancient authors as in the Agora would be included. When he arrived in Athens to take up the work, Griswold first attacked the problem of water supply and had a network of pipes installed so that the government would provide the water as in other state parks. He aroused the personal interest of General Charles Booth, head of the Athens Water Company which gave invaluable technical assistance in the installation; the General himself gave a drinking fountain at the Hephaisteion. This was characteristic of Griswold’s success in inspiring the personal enthusiasm and active assistance of all he met and dealt with. As he traveled throughout Attica searching for the exact specimens which were academically correct and botanically sturdy and suitable, he elicited such response from private estate owners, commercial nurserymen and government botanical officials that hundreds of trees and shrubs were donated. The Royal Estate at Tatoi was a very generous donor as were the Forestry Service Nursery at Kouponia and many individuals, notably Anthony Benaki, Constantine Benaki, and the Vorres Nursery. The gifts from the Athenians were not only trees, shrubs, vines and wild flowers but also cash. An Athenian Committee for the Planting of the Park of the Agora was formed with General Vasili Melas as President. Much valuable counsel as well as money was given by the Committee. Gorham Stevens was a member of that Committee most active in obtaining funds; he was an invaluable liaison between the Committee and the School.

During that first winter and spring of 1954-55 the modern retaining wall below the Hephaisteion was removed, and earth terraces were restored and planted. The Garden of Hephaistos, the slopes of Kolonos Agoraios, the whole west half of the Agora were planted, and graveled walks with benches (two in memory of Anastasios Adossides and Margaret MacVeagh) at intervals were laid out. General public interest was aroused and maintained by special planting ceremonies. The enterprise had been inaugurated on June 4, 1954 by Their Majesties when King Paul planted an oak and Queen Frederika a laurel (Pl. 8, b) beside the Altar of Zeus Agoraios. The Greek colony of Toledo, Ohio contributed to the replanting of “the plane tree of no great size” which shaded the statue of Demosthenes in antiquity; the archaeological authorities of Epirus supplied an oak tree from Dodona for the area behind the Stoa of Zeus. The Athenian Committee planted an olive tree by the Altar of the Twelve Gods on June 15, 1955, and the Association of Autochthonous Athenians planted a pomegranate in the Garden of Hephaistos, an olive, a fig and a laurel. The Giri Guides and Boy Scouts of Athens and of Attica helped in planting some of the gift plants, the Guides 30 laurel trees and the Scouts 35 oleanders. In all 554 trees, 45 shrubs and 400 vines and wild flowers were planted in 1954-55. They include pine, cypress, white poplar, redbud, olive, acacia, tamarisk, Parkinsonia, almond, plane, laurel and four varieties of oak trees. Of shrubs there are oleander, buck thorn, myrtle, schinus, broom, smoke bush, arbutis, heather and lavender. Excavation had provided the evidence for the Garden of Hephaistos, which was replanted with its 38 pomegranates in the inner row and 22 myrtles in the outer row. An olive was planted near by for Mr. Adossides where his office once stood.

During the winter of 1955-56 the plan was further carried out by planting 100 more trees and 2,800 shrubs and scattering several thousand wildflower seeds. In 1956-57 Griswold was back to supervise the planting along the east side now that the Stoa construction was complete.

Professor Emmanuel Vaphis, horticulturist on the faculty of the Superior School of Agriculture, took an active interest in keeping a watchful eye on planting and care in later years. As new excavations were completed planting was done. After the completion of Phase B excavations on the south and east sides over 750 trees and shrubs were planted in 1959-60. When the general responsibility for the park was no longer lodged in the School there was less personnel for maintenance, and the original design suffered somewhat. Griswold contributed his services to go to Athens again in April 1966 to check and advise on pruning and new planting. He recorded his regret that the part of the original design which envisaged a botanical collection of Greek plants for instruction was not feasible, but he noted that the potential is there in the planting if and when labels and a printed guide can be provided. In October 1967 he returned once more to acquire the plants and to plant the South Square with new funds especially provided by a gift.

At the end of 1956 the Athenian Committee had been dissolved; their total monetary gift was $14,603.15, the gifts of actual plant material amounted to another $6,000, and the interest and good will of the members is beyond reckoning. One of their last contributions was a plant of poison hemlock acquired by Gorham Stevens in 1958 for the park in memory of Socrates. The final gift of the Athenian Committee for the Agora Park was suggested by Mrs. Ioanna Zaimi who proposed that a bronze relief portrait of Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. be placed in the Memorial Room of the Stoa of Attalos as an expression of appreciation of that group of Athenian citizens for Mr. Rockefeller’s many benefactions to Athens. The relief (Pl. 7, b) was modeled by John Notaras and the plaque dedicated at a ceremony on May 31, 1962 (above, p. 86). This dedication was in good ancient tradition; two ancient inscriptions record that grateful Athenians of the 1st century B.C. dedicated portraits of benefactors in the Stoa. A year later Gorham Stevens had died, and soon thereafter some of his friends on the Greek Committee honored his memory as one of the first and most effective supporters of the landscaping of the Agora; they planted an olive tree near the north entrance, his favorite approach to the Agora, with an inscribed plaque at its base.

The placing of Mr. Rockefeller’s portrait in the Memorial Room properly emphasized him as the principal benefactor of the excavation and the Stoa of Attalos; without him they would never have been. But there are also hundreds of others, both Americans and Greeks, who gave of their time and thought, energy and funds; no complete accounting can ever be made of all. Some record, however, of those who helped to make the whole enterprise possible was set up; on August 25, 1959, three bronze tablets, donated by Ward Canaday, were unveiled in the second room from the south in the Stoa of Attalos. One records the excavation of the Agora and lists the names of the Cooperating Institutions of the School during the excavation years 1931–1956; another records the reconstruction of the Stoa with the names of all who took part, from engineers to stone cutters, and every other workman whose labor went into the construction of the building; the third lists the names of everyone who, following Mr. Rockefeller’s lead, made a monetary contribution to the vast undertaking.

Individual memorials to the leaders of the beginning and early years of the excavation had been set up as part of the landscaping. A belvedere with a lectern housing a plan of the Agora was placed on the edge of Kolonos Agoraios overlooking the whole area in memory of Edward Capps (Pl. 9, a) (above, p. 63); a fountain on the site of an ancient fountain at the south end of the Stoa of Attalos terrace commemorates T. Leslie Shear (Pl. 9, a), first Field Director 1931–1945 and a bench and olive tree memorialize Anastasios Adossides (Pl. 14, a ).

The final and longest-termed commitment of the excavation was of course publication. Professor Shear had this most important aspect of the excavation in mind at the very beginning of the work in 1931. He made assignments of certain classes of material which could be expected to be found to certain scholars as their responsibility for study and publication. He published a preliminary report on each season’s work in the following fall or winter, and Professor Thompson kept that same commitment for prompt preliminary publication. Several of those responsible for particular fields presented both preliminary and detailed studies quite promptly in the 1930’s, notably in epigraphy, certain classes of pottery, sculpture and numismatics. When Homer Thompson assumed the Field Directorship in 1947 he confirmed the old assignments and made new ones where necessary. Study and publication, then, were being carried on steadily while the excavations were in progress. It was recognized that in many fields the final publication could profitably be begun when operations were resumed after the war. These volumes were to be selective presentations of the Agora’s contribution in each field.

A very significant part of the whole activity of the Agora was the indoor work, the keeping of the records, including photography, up to date with the new finds on the one hand and on the other making the material accessible and the records and publication photography available for those preparing articles and books. A system of cataloguing, of photography, of cross-referencing in notebooks, of filing and storing the material was organized in the beginning by Lucy Talcott working with the Field Director and excavators. As the number of objects rose to many thousands, this system proved capable of expansion as needed and remarkably efficient for reference. It became a model for other expeditions and no small part of the total contribution of the Agora excavations to field archaeology. Miss Talcott continued to direct it all (much volunteer assistance was given by students of the School and others during the 50’s) until 1958 when she relinquished the responsibility to take up her own study in classical pottery. Miss Poly Pamel (later Mrs. Andreas Demoulini) took over and continued until 1971 to keep the offices in the Stoa an ideal center for research for both Agora staff and the many visiting scholars who were warmly welcomed. The photography, both current and for publication, was done between 1935 and 1956 by Alison Frantz, much of the time as a volunteer. Her devotion has been equaled only by her outstanding skill, evident in every Agora publication. At the same time she carried on her study of the Byzantine antiquities. When Lucy Talcott retired from “Records”, the title she carried rather than “Secretary of the Agora Excavation” as did her successors, she had planned and seen executed the move of the office and its records and of the collections to their permanent quarters in the Stoa of Attalos. This was truly a Heraklean task which she had tackled with the same extraordinary sense for organization which had characterized her oversight of the indoor activity since 1931. Her concern for the best interests of every individual, be it an object or a scholar, was infinite in the smallest detail, and her generosity was equal to her dedication.

Beside photography the scholars preparing the publications had the assistance not only of the draftsmen usual to an excavation of the period but also of scientists who at the beginning of the work in the Agora were just starting to work with archaeologists. Richard Stillwell, the first architect, was followed by Julian Whittlesey and Charles Spector and then John Travlos from 1935 on (see below, pp. 198-199), who provided plans and restorations of buildings, while Piet de Jong recorded in ink and watercolor details of shape and ornament of both architecture and portable finds. Of the scientists, J. Lawrence Angell, distinguished physical anthropologist, from the beginning of the excavations studied the skeletal material, and in a well-equipped laboratory Earl Caley analysed bronze and later Marie Farnsworth studied ceramics and glazes.

In this setting the volumes of the final publication, The Athenian Agora, began to be completed. The first was Portrait Sculpture by Evelyn B. Harrison in 1953, and others followed in quick succession (see below, pp. 260-261, 270). It has already been mentioned above (p. 180) that Mr. Rockefeller had shown his interest in this final stage of excavation as much as in the pick-and-shovel work and had made a specific part of his Agora Phase B gift a sum for publication. The blue volumes of The Athenian Agora published from 1958 through 1972 proudly acknowledge this indebtedness of the School. Detailed articles on specific objects or groups, especially those which give chronological evidence, continue to appear in Hesperia, and the Picture Books fill many needs (below, pp. 261-262, 271).

To complete the picture of the activity in the Agora we must record here the principal assignments that were made, since the assignment of fields for publication at the beginning of the excavation was a distinctive characteristic of this excavation. From the outset the scholars to whom large general classes were assigned recognized them as general responsibility, and whenever qualified scholars expressed interest in certain groups of material they were given the opportunity to study them. Many people have worked on the preliminary studies of pottery. In no class was a greater number involved than in the very wide field of epigraphy where 35 other scholars have joined Meritt in preliminary publication. As the studies for final publication progressed it became apparent that more than the 20 volumes originally planned would be required. In some cases the assignments in a general field were then subdivided. These were some of the major assignments for work in the Stoa offices and storerooms:

Topography, Architecture, History - Homer A. Thompson
  Later, Testimonia and Topography - R. E. Wycherley
        Unidentified Architectural Fragments - Lucy T. Shoe (Meritt)
        Houses - J. Walter Graham
Neolithic and Bronze Ages - Carl W. Blegen, later Sara A. Immerwahr replacing Carl W. Blegen
Marble Sculpture - Evelyn B. Harrison (at first two volumes, later five)
Terracotta Figurines - Dorothy Burr Thompson
  Later, Archaic and Classical - Richard V. Nicholls
        Hellenistic - Dorothy Burr Thompson
        Roman - Clairève Grandjouan
Terracotta Lamps - Richard H. Howland
  Later, Roman - Judith Perlzweig
Pottery: Protogeometric and Geometric - Evelyn L. Smithson
  8th and 7th centuries - Eva Brann
  Black figure - Mary Zelia Philippides, later joined by Mary B. Moore
  Classical - Lucy Talcott
  Later, Red figure - Peter Corbett
        Black glazed - Brian Sparks with Lucy Talcott
  Hellenistic - G. Roger Edwards, later Susan I. Rotroff
  Roman - Henry S. Robinson, later joined by John W. Hayes and Barbara L. Johnson
Amphoras and their Stamped Handles - Virginia Grace, later joined by Maria Savvatianou-Petropoulakou, Elizabeth Lyding Will, and Carolyn G. Koehler
Inscriptions on Marble - Benjamin D. Meritt
  Later, The Councillors - Benjamin D. Meritt with John S. Traill
        Decrees - A. G. Woodhead
        Funerary - Donald W. Bradeen
        Roman - Daniel J. Geagan, later all dedications (Greek and Roman)
        Poletai Records - Merle Langdon, later joined by Gerald V. Lalonde (Horoi) and Michael B. Walbank
Ostraka - Eugene Vanderpool and A. E. Raubitschek, later Mabel Lang
Graffiti and Dipinti - Mabel Lang
Coins - Josephine Platner Shear
  Later, Roman and Byzantine - Margaret Thompson
        Islamic - George C. Miles
        Greek - John H. Kroll, replacing Josephine Platner Shear
  Small Objects Weights and Measures - Mabel Lang
  Tokens - Margaret Crosby
  Law Court Equipment - Sterling Dow and Mabel Lang, later Alan Boegehold
  Glass - Gladys D. Weinberg
  Other - Anna Benjamin and Neda Leipen
Late Antique, Byzantine and Turkish - Alison Frantz and John Travlos

One class of material found in the Agora excavations was developed into a very special project involving more than the usual investigation of comparable material found elsewhere. One of the chief contributions of the Agora has been its chronological evidence, so numerous and valuable have been the dated deposits found. In no case has this been more important than in the stamps on the handles of amphoras used for transport, especially of wine. Because the Agora yielded so many thousand examples, mostly firmly dated, it was essential to have on file the stamps found in other large collections, notably those in Alexandria but also those throughout the Aegean area, whether held privately or from regular excavations. Virginia Grace, who had undertaken the study of the Agora stamps, soon was adding to her file records from most other significant sites. The result is a comprehensive file which serves as a reference center for scholars from all over the world. Miss Grace has become the expert to whom inquiries on identification and chronology are addressed whenever an amphora handle is found. The maintenance of this monumental file has been a considerable concern of the School over the years. Many individuals have contributed to its continuation, sharing with the School the conviction of its scholarly significance and believing it to be a service to the archaeological profession (not least the underwater branch) which the School can be proud to provide. Corpus volumes, one for each class of handle, have been planned by Miss Grace; the Thasian has been published in collaboration with the French excavators of Thasos, and various articles present other small regional groups. Work is still in progress on the major classes by several scholars. Maria Sav-vatianou-Petrapoulakou has worked closely with Virginia Grace for many years. Elizabeth Lyding Will and Carolyn G. Koehler have joined in the study more recently.

When Homer Thompson retired from the Field Directorship at the end of 1967 he could look back on two decades of amazing achievement in the Agora under his guidance. The original concession had been fully excavated as had also additional areas to the east and south. This had resulted in an excavated area of a reasonable shape to fence and guard that is a historical entity. The buildings had been conserved and made clearly intelligible to the public, who could walk through the heart of, Ancient Athens on paths bordered with trees and shrubs and flowers and pause to sit and reflect on the history or merely enjoy the prospect. Visitors came in the thousands, 281,648 in 1966. The Hephaisteion had assumed its proper place in the Agora area with its surrounding garden and had been given needed conservation. Across the square from it the great Stoa of Attalos had arisen again in its splendor and was serving to house the thousands of objects found in the excavation, both in the public colonnades and galleries and in the workrooms and storerooms. The products of the study in those places had appeared in scores of articles, 11 books, 10 picture books and a guide book. Much more study was in active progress. These are mere statistics which give little idea of the quality of the man who directed the entire activity, though they suggest his industry and his remarkable organizational ability. What they do not show are personal devotion and generosity to a degree few know, his uncanny skill in creating and maintaining an unparalleled team of Americans and Greeks, his attention to every smallest detail without ever losing sight of the main issues, his outstanding scholarly brilliance in observation and interpretation generously shared with all and perhaps greatest of all his humanity which has made him beloved and respected by officials, staff and workmen alike. That he continues to direct the study and publication of the Agora 1931–1967 is a major good fortune of the School. His 50 years of service to the School in 1979 have been one of its greatest blessings and its greatest achievements.

The last major activity of Homer Thompson for the Agora before he retired was characteristic of his vision and concern for its future. The results of the investigation of the area first demarcated as probably containing the limits of the Agora had shown that the northern limit set arbitrarily at the Athens-Piraeus Railway tracks was too far south; the Stoa Poikile and the Stoa of the Herms at least, with no telling how much else, must have been north of the tracks. The area east of the Stoa of Attalos, between it and the Roman Market already exposed, had been in the Greek sector when the original division of the center of the ancient city had been made between the American and the Greek excavators. The Greek Archaeological Service had acquired some property in that zone but had not been able to undertake the excavation. They wanted it done, however, and were prepared to make the land available for excavation by the American School if the School could find funds to do it. The proposal that the Greek Government would expropriate all the land the Archaeological Service wished to see explored, both to the north and to the east of the old excavation, if the School would finance and carry out the excavating was sufficiently urgent to make the Trustees decide it would be worthwhile to attempt to secure funding. There was no question of the value of continuing the work on which so much scholarly effort and money had already been expended. From an academic point of view the School could not afford to refuse this offer; from the financial point of view it could not afford to accept it. The “crying need” for general endowment which had been ignored for years was now critical; the division of opinion among the School’s officers and between many of the Managing Committee and the Trustees was strong. It was a case of priorities, not a question of disapproving the extension of the Agora in principle. The Trustees decided to try for Agora funds; the Field Director devoted much time and tremendous effort to present the case to possible supporters, working with the President of the Trustees, who had transferred the drive which put across the Stoa to this next stage of the excavations. John J. McCloy, Treasurer of the School and at the time President of the Ford Foundation, also vigorously championed the cause. Their success was announced on February 17, 1966, when the Ford Foundation made public their grant of one million dollars for the excavation, conservation, study and publication of the areas north and east of the existing excavation, the understanding being that the Greek Government would purchase the land and turn it over to the School; the Foundation expressed its conviction of the high historical and educational value of extending our knowledge of the civic center of ancient Athens. The grant would make a beginning on what was recognized as at least a 15-year project; it would support up to about one third of the whole. Between the time of the original offer of the Greek Government and the time of the Ford grant changes both political and economic had taken place in the Greek state, so that it was not possible to make use of the grant with immediate excavation. It was with the appointment of Professor Spyridon Marinatos as General Director of Antiquities and Conservation in 1967 that, thanks to his lively interest, the government in November of that year announced its intention to expropriate the property between the railway and Hadrian Street, from opposite the Stoa of Attalos to a point on a line with the Stoa of Zeus, the whole east-west width of the old excavations. It was only on June 5, 1969 that the School took possession of the properties. Evacuation was slow; then careful demolition to recover all ancient blocks built into the modern structures was continued through the winter, and the new excavations began on March 23, 1970.

Meanwhile in spring 1968 and 1969 supplementary digging had continued in the old excavations, but with a new staff of excavators. On January 1, 1968; Homer Thompson was succeeded as Field Director by T. Leslie Shear, Jr. (Pl. 13, e) of Princeton University, son of the first Director, who had been on the staff in the 1967 season. The new excavators were John McK. CampII (Pl. 13, e) who had also joined the 1967 season and would continue as Agora Fellow in 1972 and then as Assistant Field Director from 1973, Stella Grobel (1968) and Stephen Miller (1969) who would serve as Agora Fellows till 1972. The 1968 and 1969 seasons were financed by the interest from the Ford grant and contributions from the University of Washington, Margaret Crosby and Peter Demarest. In 1968 below the west end of the Middle Stoa the original (5th-century) site of the monument of the Eponymous Heroes was found. A fine workshop-residence of a sculptor and marbleworker of the second quarter of the 5th century B.C., in use to the end of the 4th century, came to light in the southwest corner, its cisterns a mine of pottery and figurines; inscribed pieces record the first owner as one Mikion and the last as Menon. A large bath on the northwestern slope of the Areopagus proved to date originally from the 2nd century B.C. and to have continued in use through many rebuildings, notably in Hadrianic times, to the 6th century after Christ. In 1969, while preparations for the new excavations were proceeding, further investigation of one of the late Roman philosophical schools on the north slope of the Areopagus revealed its full plan and under it two fine houses occupied in the 6th to 4th centuries B.C.

As the new excavations began in spring 1970 the indoor staff remained essentially the same except for the addition of John Kroll as numismatist for 1970–1973 and of Eugene Vanderpool, Jr. as photographer for 1970–1976. In 1967-68 William B. Dinsmoor, Jr. had joined the staff as Architect of Agora Excavations to assist John Travlos; the latter continued as Architect of School Excavations to have general charge of architectural surveying and drawings until his retirement on June 30, 1973, when Dinsmoor assumed the chief responsibility. John Travlos had joined the Agora staff as architect in 1935. His long service had been of utmost value. His skilled draftsmanship was available to all departments of the excavation, and his knowledge of the architectural history of Athens was profound, extending through all ages from ancient to modern times. No publication of the topography or architecture of the Agora was without the benefit of his superb drawing. He restored on paper every monument of the old excavation, and two of his restorations, the Stoa of Attalos and the Church of the Holy Apostles, were converted into reality.

In summer 1971 Poly Demoulini retired from her exacting responsibility as Secretary of the Agora; since 1958 she had administered the collections and had kept the records up to date with skill and precision and with patient and understanding assistance to all. She was succeeded by Effie Sakellaraki who was succeeded in turn in January 1977 by Lucy Weier Krystallis and in 1979 by Helen H. Townsend. In the field work in 1972 lone Mylonas Shear and Susan I. Rotroff were added to the three excavators of 1969 and following; they continued with John Camp as excavators through the Ford grant years. Fred Kleiner was appointed Agora Fellow for numismatics and Barbara Johnson for Roman pottery for 1973–1976.

The first season of the new excavation, 1970, was as rewarding as could have been hoped, one of the most significant topographically in the whole history of the Agora. North of the railway the Stoa Basileios was found adjoining the Stoa of Zeus at the west end of the north side of the square. Further east the old Northeast Stoa was found to be the facade of a basilica of the mid-2nd century after Christ which probably marked the corresponding east corner. The north side of the square was beginning to be defined at last. On the north slope of the Areopagus an elaborately appointed house of the 5th and 6th centuries after Christ was partially uncovered. Spring 1971 saw the beginning of work in the other new area, east of the Stoa of Attalos; the eastern half of the Library of Pantainos was uncovered with the beginning of colonnades and shops lining the street leading to the Roman Market. North of the railway the Stoa Basileios, cleared to classical levels, was shown definitely to mark the northwest corner of the square where the Panathenaic Way entered, and east of it a small classical shrine with masses of offerings appeared. Beneath the basilica to the east remains of classical shops were found. The huge Philosophical School and its 6th-century Christian phase on the Areopagus were cleared and a remarkable group of portrait busts were found carefully deposited in a well, presumably by the last pagan owner. In 1972 both areas were further investigated; in the north the little shrine with hundreds more dedications, a long double stoa of Roman times lining the street west of the Stoa Basileios, with official classical buildings beneath, and under the Roman basilica walls from Archaic to late Mycenaean times; on the east more of the colonnaded street with shops behind, a shopping area of about A.D. 100.

Deeper investigation in and around the Stoa Basileios in 1973 revealed Sub-Mycenaean graves under the south end. The Library of Pantainos was thoroughly explored along with the Late Roman building on a terrace to the south and a classical building under the Roman stoa along the street. Further classical buildings, evidently from commercial establishments, were revealed in 1974, their wells copiously furnished with pottery; some were surely taverns, others shops, one a carpenter’s shop. The removal of a section of Brysakeion Street in 1974 and 1975 allowed the clearing of the remaining portion of the Library of Pantainos; the extensive building of which the western part was discovered in 1940 is now completely known with its external stoas, peristyle and actual library for the books, the three parts named in the dedicatory inscription.

The 1975 season explored the last of the area made available by the Greek Government for excavation and used the last of the Ford Foundation grant. The members of the new staff then joined the old in applying themselves to study for publication.

Further work to the north and on the east was still needed to complete the area the Greek Government had marked for excavation; as early as 1973 efforts were made to secure funds for a further phase of this large undertaking. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities was offered with the condition that the School deliver the sum of $180,000 before December 31, 1974, for which the N.E.H. would then deliver $360,000, having matched the sum. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation offered $90,000 a year for five years on condition that funds on a two-for-one basis be secured, the definite answer and proof of matching funds to be given by October 1, 1974. At the May 1974 meeting the Trustees saw little hope of meeting the deadlines with the necessary funds and had no assurance from the Greek Government that any property would be available for excavation. When at the November meeting the necessary funds were still not available and there was still no certainty of property but there was on the other hand every indication that inflation would make the estimated cost inadequate, the Trustees saw no choice but to decline the offers with regret.

In early 1976 planning for the next phase was still a very live hope and was put in the hands of an Agora Planning Committee composed of members of the Trustees and of the Managing Committee. Meanwhile the staff was reduced drastically on June 30, 1976, retaining only the Secretary, an assistant (no longer Nikolaos Restakis who had provided the highest quality prints for so many years) in the darkroom to make prints, and the indispensible Spyro Spyropoulos, not only chief technician in the mending room for many years but the man who knows the collections and their disposition on site and in museum as no one else. The lack of a photographer and an architect would indeed inconvenience and slow the work of study, but without a Secretary and Spyro it could not function. The old staff working on publication provided the principal activity from 1976 to 1978. William Bell Dinsmoor, Jr. returned as architect in 1978. One piece of unfinished business in the old excavations was completed in summer 1977 when contributions from Hunter Lewis, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and other friends made possible the final cleaning and conservation of that “Poros Building” in the southwest corner of the square which had been identified in 1975 by Professor Eugene Vanderpool as the State Prison of Athens, in which Socrates met his death. Further special gifts allowed the complete clearing and testing of stratigraphy in another building of the old excavations, the Mint, in the summer of 1978.

Spring 1979 brought one more revival of new work in the Agora. A new application made to the National Endowment for the Humanities by Field Director T. Leslie Shear, Jr. was successful; a matching grant of $460,914 was awarded. This could be accepted because matching funds were available; the previous year the David and Lucile Packard Foundation had committed $300,000 if the N.E.H. grant was received, and $296,000 from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided more than ample to meet the challenge. There were funds, therefore, for renewed excavation; it was hoped they would suffice for a large-scale campaign for three years. With inflation what it was, however, there could be no certainty how much work this sum could guarantee. A radical departure in the conduct of excavation in Greece was therefore proposed by the School. For the first time the actual physical pick-and-shovel work would be done by student volunteers, no longer by the paid experienced local Greek workmen. Meanwhile the Greek Government had expropriated, and indicated that it would make available to the American School for excavation, the large property on the north side of Hadrian Street which was particularly desirable for investigation. The 1980 season with 40 volunteer student workers made a beginning on the clearing of that area at the northwest corner of the Agora where the two famous buildings known from literature to have lain along the north side must be located. If the Stoa Poikile and the Stoa of the Herms can be discovered, the Market Place and the Civic Center of Athens from early classical Greek through Roman Imperial times will have been made available once more, and the nearly half century of effort of the American School in the heart of Athens will have been appropriately crowned. Even without those two famous stoas, the achievement is impressive and worthy of the many fine scholarly careers that have been expended upon it. It is impossible to measure the world-wide significance of the new picture which has emerged of life, civic, economic, artistic and even domestic, from late Neolithic to Byzantine times, of the city which has had a greater impact than any other upon the ideals and ideas of the western world.


The 1981 season revealed the west end of what was identified by the Director of the Agora Excavations as the Stoa Poikile.