The ancient cemetery where Pericles delivered his funeral oration.
This peaceful spot was Athens’ official cemetery from the 11th century BC to the 2nd century AD. It was here that Pericles delivered his funeral oration, commemorating the soldiers who died in the first year of the Peloponnesian War. The vast site is filled with unusual treasures. But it’s surprisingly under the radar. In fact, the cemetery was only discovered in 1861 during construction of a new road to the port of Piraeus. Rows of stunted columns mark the graves of slaves. Wealthy citizens ensured they had fantastically elaborate tombstones. Many of them are now housed in the small Oberlander Museum. Alongside them are touching everyday objects that were buried with the dead, in case they needed them in the afterlife. You can also see some of the 7000 ostraka – tablets inscribed with the names of undesirables who were ostracised from Athens for a decade.