Archaeological Museum of Marathon
The Archaeological Museum of Marathon is situated in Vranas and is characterized as an historic heritage gem of the city. However, the birth of this museum resembles to an incredible jigsaw puzzle constituted by short human stories, starting in 1969.
Marathon was, then a small village and the few inhabitants were involved in agriculture. The Boukouvala family lived in Tsepi, and its members were searching daily to find underground water to cover their needs.
One day, while they were digging at a depth of about five meters, they discovered a small cave that caused them a great impression. They started to dig out ... strange rocks, they called relatives and friends and after a few hours they realized they had discovered an ancient tomb.
The family members immediately informed the police of the small community and soon, a renowned archaeologist and scholar of the time, the professor Spyros Marinatos, was notified and proceeded to the place, to reveal rare archaeological findings, by excavations that lasted three years (from 1970 to in 1973).
Marathon was suddenly in the spotlight. The archaeological excavations and the findings of Marinatos were daily the main subject of the most popular newspapers in Athens and many visitors arrived in Marathon in order to admire the findings closely.
One of the guests who arrived at Marathon in 1973, was the Greek-American, Eugene Panagopoulos, a Reserve Sub-lieutenant of the Navy, conspicuous for his undying patriotism, expressed by various donations to the homeland.
Impressed by the findings of Marathon, Panagopoulos spent a small fortune to keep them at the place they belonged and not being transferred to a museum in Athens. He sponsored the housing of the Early Helladic and the Middle Helladic Cemeteries, the Tomb of Plataeans, the Mycenaean tomb of the Arno, and in 1975 he built the Archaeological Museum of Marathon.
The expropriation of land, and the asphalt paving of the road linking Marathon Avenue to the foothill of Agriliki were also contributions of the great Marathon benefactor. And so Marathon, acquired a museum to house its valuable historic heritage.
The rare exhibits
The Archaeological Museum is divided into six large rooms, in which, the rare findings are being exposed.
TROPHIES ROOM: Part of the Trophy column, mounted at the Marathon plain to commemorate the victory of the Athenians over the Persians in 490 BC., dominates the room.
ROOM 1: Contains exhibits of pottery of the last phases of the Neolithic period (4000 - 3200 BC) and the first phases of Bronze Age (3200-2700 BC). Most pottery were found at the Cave of Pan in Oinoi.
ROOM 2: Includes ceramics and small objects from the cemetery of the Early Bronze Age at Tsepi. The visitor can also admire some offerings (kterismata) of Middle Helladic and Late Helladic period, found at the cemetery of Vranas.
ROOM 3: Contains the geometric pottery, archaic and classical period from the cemeteries in the area of Marathon, Kato Souli and San Andreas, Zouberi.
ROOM 4: Includes marble works, such as inscriptions, statues of Herodes Atticus and his students, relief statues and inscriptions of Roman times.
ROOM 5: The whole room is dedicated to the sanctuary of the Egyptian gods at Brexiza.