This ancient cemetery is also little visited today, despite its tranquil environment and an excellent little museum. The area has been a burial ground since the 12th century BC.
The ancient Sacred Way led from Kerameikos to Eleusis, while the Dipylon gate led from here to the Acropolis. Most of the graves still visible today are on what was once called the Way of the Tombs. Numerous sculptures were excavated from here and were moved to the National Archaeological Museum, and many plaster copies remain behind in situ. Others have been moved to the small museum on-site, called the Oberlander Museum.
The Stele of Demetria and Pamphile
The sculpture depicts a seated Pamphile with her sister Demetria behind her. This was one of the last ornate stelae to be placed here in the late 4th century BC.
The Oberlander Museum
Named for Gustav Oberlander, a German-American industrialist, who helped fund the construction of this museum in the 1930s. Gravesites and grave rituals provide us with a great deal of evidence about ancient life, and this is highlighted in three galleries of the museum. The gallery includes grave stelae found at the site. Galleries 2 and 3 offer an array of huge proto-geometric and geometric amphorae and black-figured funerary vases. The museum also houses 7,000 ostraka (small pieces of clay used for voting) that were found in the Eridanos River. One particularly super piece of pottery at the museum is the red figure water vase depicting Helen of Troy.