Wednesday, January 2, 2013



HADRIAN was a great lover of religious activities of all sorts and was initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries in Greece, as was Antinous.

Now archaeologists claim they have found a section of the Athenian Sacred Way that connected Athens with Eleusis ... and which Hadrian and Antinous undoubtedly traversed.

Archaeologists claim that most Athenians had walked the Iera Odos (Sacred Way) in antiquity.

But its exact course of the "Iera Odos" was unknown until construction workers building a new subway line stumbled onto it.

Now, thanks to the subway, modern Athenians will have the chance to follow the same route, only this time underground.

The Iera Odos connected Athens with Eleusis and, throughout its course, it followed the procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries during the celebrations for Demeter and Persephone.

The revealed part is framed by retaining walls and the cemetery built along the Iera Odos. Following the Odos, Greek archaeologists collected sarcophagus, cuttings, marks from an ancient wagon wheel, burial goods and other finds.

Dozens of clay jugs testify that Attica had rich and exploitable resources of underground water. Lamps, loom weights, tools and kernoi (pots where they put fertility seeds), grave offerings from children burials in cemeteries of the Iera Odos attest for a wealth of lost treasures.

The most "fascinating" of all finds, however, as the Secretary General of the Cultural Ministry Lina Mendoni described it, were the bones of an unburied horse, which drowned in one of the Kifissos river floods.

Based on the excavation data, the archaeologists assumed that it fought for its life until the end. It fell and was buried under heaps of alluvium, with its head slightly raised in a last effort to hold itself above the mud that soon covered everything.

The revealed part of Iera Odos was inaugurated this week at a small ceremony.

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