Αρχαία Ιερά Οδός – Ancient Sacred Way

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The Sacred Way was the ancient road that connected the city of Athens to Eleusina. It had a length of 22 kilometers, starting from the Sacred Gate in Kerameikos. At the most part followed the route of the current Sacred Street leading to the Temple of Dimitra at Eleusina.
Based on historical data is considered that the inhabitants of Athens, crossed the path for the first time in Late Greek period (1600-1100BC.) in order to reach the town of Eleusina. Later, when the Eleusinian mysteries were formally established, the Ancient Sacred Way played an important role because the religious processions followed this route.
The embankments of the road were made of large conglomerate stones or limestones and were rooted on the rock in depth which in some places reached 1,48 m. Three roadways can be distinguished: The lower consists of the sanded surface of natural rock, where small potholes were filled with pressed stones of chalk. The middle consists of thick pressed stones of chalk with small stones. The top roadway is paved and its width was about 0.20m. Among the three roadways mediate thinner layers of sand enriched with fine gravel.
An exceptionally well-preserved part of the Sacred Way, approximately 200 meters, has been excavated near the Temple of Afrodite in Aphaia Scaramanga, where have been preserved until today prints of the wheels of the passing chariots and carriages. Section of road, about 44 m, was excavated in front of the 9th Primary School of Haidari at the junction of the current Sacred Street with Kolokotronis Street and to the west. Around 47 meters further west, has been excavated part of the Ancient Sacred Way with length 23.5 m, of which has preserved only the northern embankment of the road. Smaller parts of the ancient road have been identified to the east, within the borders of the Municipality of Haidari.