Upper Floor of Agora’s Stoa of Attalos Reopens to Public
The upper floor of the Stoa of Attalos has reopened to the public with a sculpture exhibition. In the impressive open colonnade, 52 pieces of ancient sculpture have been newly restored and are now on display, including an important collection of Roman portraits. Additionally, a new transparent wall enables visitors to view the areas where antiquities are stored. The renovation doubles the permanent exhibition space accessible to the public and provides an area for temporary exhibitions, educational programs, and lectures. In another component of the EEA project, over 300,000 excavation records, photographs and negatives, drawings and maps, and archeological notebooks are in process of being digitized; altogether, they document the American School’s work in the Agora over many decades. The aim of the digital project is to provide scholars and the interested public access to the complete archives of the Agora excavations, extending back to 1931. Access will be possible on the web but also using portable devices, such as the iPad.  Already a prototype is being used during excavation by field-workers in the trenches. Using a WIFI connnection, excavators have access to the records and at the same time are inputting data from the field. Further developments will allow visitors to the Agora to access information while touring the museum and the site. Agora Excavations Deputy Director Craig Mauzy notes, “The electronic resources we have developed with the aid of the EEA grant will permit all who visit our site to re-imagine the past.” This project was implemented by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the First Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Having a total cost of almost one million euros, the project was funded by the EEA Financial Mechanisms together with the Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Transport and Networks with the overall objective to preserve and promote the cultural heritage and historic role of the Athenian Agora. In commemoration of the event, an illustrated, full-color 72-page booklet was developed detailing the project. Read it here.