Excavation of Monastiraki square, vaulted bed of the river Eridanos (Athens, Greece)
Archaeological excavations conducted during the construction of the Monastiraki metro station brought to light remains of various settlements dating from the 8th century B.C. (Geometric period) to the 19th century A.D.
Eridanos river has always been a basic axis in the urban design. The river rose from the lower slopes of Lykavittos Hill, had a constant flow that increased in rainy periods, followed its course through Athens and issued in Illisos river.
In the Late Classical period (5th-4th c. B.C.) the river bed 2,60m wide, was bounded on both banks by large blocks of conglomerate and by two paths, which defined the building line for the structures that began to be erected on both its sides. At emperor's Handrian's time (117-138), the Eridanos was roofed over by a brick vault, covered with earth and converted into a sewer. A large retaining wall was built on the north side of the river to support a wide stoa or street, and the building line retreated 4,50m. The buildings are of a private character, consisting of workshops and storage rooms. The date of the ruins is based on numerous finds of various kinds: marble sculptures and architectural members, mosaic floors, wall-paintings, decorative plaster, vases, coins, metal and bone artefacts.