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Frontpage News 2012 Digitising the Agora archives


Digitising the Agora archives

  • Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway support the digitisation of the Agora archives in Athens, Greece.

    Nowhere is the history of Athens so richly illustrated as in the Agora, the marketplace that was the focal point of public life. There have been 79 years since the inauguration of systematic excavations by the American School of Classical Studies on the site of the ancient Athenian Agora started. This has resulted in an archive that includes hundred of thousands of notebooks, photos and archeological artifacts.

    Breaking the analogue wall
    Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway support the digitisation of the Agora archives. With a digitalised archive the visitors of the site will have a new extraordinary experience. Today, while visiting an archeological site you walk around with the guide book. With a wireless network at the Agora, visitors can search for all the artifacts found at the exact spot they're standing on, and will be able to read the notes written by the archeologists from the excavation. The digitalisation of the archive has already started, and you can view the object and read the notebooks online.

    5000 years of history
    Material from the Late Neolithic to modern times has been excavated, shedding light on 5,000 years of Athenian history. The Agora of Athens was the center of the ancient city: a large, open square where the citizens could assemble for a wide variety of purposes. On any given day the space might be used as a market, or for an election, a dramatic performance, a religious procession, military drill, or an athletic competition. Here administrative, political, judicial, commercial, social, cultural, and religious activities all found a place together in the heart of Athens, and the square was surrounded by the public buildings necessary to run the Athenian government. The majority of the Athenian population, which were slaves, did not have access to what is considered the cradle of democracy.

    Photo: agathe.gr.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    Reviving the Ancient Agora, the cradle of the Democracy.

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Conservation of European cultural heritage


    € 482 100



    Type & project assistance:

    Individual Project

    Project promoter:

    The American School of Classic Studies at Athens

    Type of institution:

    Non governmental organisation

    Project website:


    Project duration:

    35 months

    Project cost:

    € 964,200

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA Grants

    Grant agreement date:

    17 September 2009

    The purpose of the Project is the renovation of the Museum at the Stoa of Attalos, with the overall objective of preservation and promotion of the cultural heritage and historic role of the Athenian Agora. Reference is made to the application dated 1 December 2008 and all subsequent correspondence with the Focal Point.

    The completed Project shall include the following activities and results:

    - Tender activities;

    - Renovation works;

    - Creation of exhibits and development of the ancient Agora's Cultural Portal;

    - Digitisation, documentation and promotion of the ancient Agora collection;

    - Management and publicity.

    The Project Promoter is the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. Subject to national law, the Project shall be implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Culture.

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the Greek Government provides at least 50 percent of the estimated eligible project cost.