Athens Post-Herulian Wall And Related Monuments

Returning to the ancient Agora we may pause over the substantial remains of the Post-Herulian Fortification Wall. The excavations have brought to light the whole west side of this system of fortifications that dates from the late 3rd century after Christ. Its course can be followed from the Propylaea down the north slope of the Acropolis to the north end of the Stoa of Attalos at which point it bent eastward to enclose an area at the north foot of the Acropolis. The west wall was pierced by three gateways, of which the principal was that at the south end of the Stoa of Attalos; this was guarded by two towers of which only the southern now remains. The stretch of wall overlying the Library of Pantainos shows typical construction: an inner and an outer face carefully put together of re-used ancient blocks, and between the faces a packing of miscellaneous architectural members loosely dumped. Some of the blocks re-used in the Wall can be assigned to buildings of the Agora, e.g. the Temple of Ares, the Odeion of Agrippa, and the Middle Stoa. At intervals massive rectangular towers projected from the face of the wall.

In the line of the Panathenaic Way near the northwest corner of the Library are the remains of a flour mill dating from the 5th and 6th centuries after Christ. The mill was driven by water brought in an aqueduct from the south.

The same water had already turned another mill set down in the ruins of the Southeast Temple, and in its further course it turned a third mill at the extreme north edge of the Agora. Of the same period is an olive press of which the remains may be seen to the west of the Panathenaic Way opposite the northwest corner of the Library.

Starting at the north front of the Southeast Temple the Panathenaic Way is surfaced with a massive paving now deeply rutted by wheeled traffic. This paving, laid in the 2nd century after Christ, continued southward to a point about half way up the Acropolis slope; from here to the Propylaea the roadway was carried on a broad stepped ramp. South of the Library of Pantainos the Panathenaic Way was bordered on the east side by an Ionic colonnade that formed a facade for a row of eleven shops.

Source by Mary Fourla