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Athens: The City Beneath the City: Antiquities from the Metropolitan Railway Excavations Hardcover – March 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a city that is more than 6,000 years old, excavation and new construction threaten to erase remnants of the past. So when Athens decided in the early 1990s to build a new metro system, the city first sent in teams of archeologists, who discovered and have preserved a staggering array of ancient artifacts, including the remains of homes, marketplaces and temples. In Athens: The City Beneath the City: Antiquities from the Metropolitan Railway Excavations, Liana Parlama, director of antiquities at the Greek Ministry of Culture, and Nicholas Stampolidis, director of the Museum of Cycladic Art, present a metro-station-by-metro-station tribute in 500 color photos to 21st-century progress and the treasures of the past.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

How do you build a subway in an archaeologically rich area? Athens answered that question when archaeologists worked with engineers to ensure that large areas of the "city beneath the city" would be preserved as construction began for the Athens Metropolitan Railway. Diggers mapped new topographical data and retrieved over 30,000 movable objects. Exhibit curators Parlama (director of antiquities, Greek Ministry of Culture) and Stampolidis (director, Museum of Cycladic Art) present 500 objects now visible both in this book and at Athens's Museum of Cycladic Art as most representative of both the geography and the long history of the city. The book's artifacts are organized into three areas: public and private life, religion, and burial customs. An archaic bronze head, a stela mentioned by Thucydides, and a dog's tomb (complete with dog collar) are joined by everyday objects like amphorae, terra cotta figurines, tools, and jewelry. The variety of objects is stunning. Excellent color photographs and detailed descriptions of each item add to the value of the catalog, and maps and a chronology help contextualize the objects. This catalog to the excavation and the treasures it revealed is recommended for academic and larger public libraries. Mary Morgan Smith, Northland P.L., Pittsburgh
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 413 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810967251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810967250
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.2 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,789,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By on July 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a magnificient book, tribute to an incredible and meaningful project. Readers interested in the antiquities will want this; those who are involved in urban planning, cultural heritage conservation or related fields should definitely take a look. Considering that much of modern Athens is practically an archaeological treasure trove, it says something for the Athenians that they are willing to delay construction of important infrastructure so that thorough investigations of all sites affected can be made, and even change the location for a planned station so as to accomodate the preservation of a site.
The value of this book lies not in any breathtaking discoveries, but rather in the meticulous record of each site excavated and the indefatigable love of history which permeates throughout. It is a pity that in many other places with sufficient material prerequisites the preservation of historical and cultural heritage is either still in its infancy or simple sidelined.
If you are going to be in Athens before the end of this year, don't miss the exhibition.
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Athens: The City Beneath the City: Antiquities from the Metropolitan Railway Excavations
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