A periodical exhibition titled “The copper inscribed tablets of Argos. The financial archive of the city of Argos in the first half of the 4th c. BC” was inaugurated by Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at 20.00 at the Epigraphic Museum.
The exhibition presents a very important finding brought to light by the excavation in 2000-2001 of the Argolis Ephorate of Antiquities (former 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities) on a plot of land in Argos (48 Korinthou Street). 136 inscribed bronze tablets, which were found placed in stone cases and in vessels covered with heavy stone slabs. The tablets were part of the financial archive of Argos, kept in the treasury of the Athena Pallas sanctuary. The exhibition displays 16 bronze tablets with the corresponding supervisory material.
“The exhibition of the inscribed bronze tablets from the Argos archive was requested by the international scientific community,” says Dr. Athanasios Themos, Head of the Epigraphic Museum. “This unique ensemble, part of which (16 tablets) is being presented in the temporary exhibition of the Epigraphic Museum, is one of the most important archaeological findings to have come to light over the recent years by the rescue excavations of the Archaeological Service of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.They are simple texts of a financial nature that mention deals between various bodies of rulers, that are a unique direct source for the history of Argos, as they provide valuable information on the political organization and its institutions, document the city-state’s economic prosperity and reflect the social unrest and wars of the first half of the 4th c. BC”.
This impressive archaeological material was excavated and brought to light by Dr. Alkistis Papadimitriou, Head of the Argolis Ephorate of Antiquities (former 4th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities). Detaching the fragile tablets from the excavation site and their first conservation was carried out by Fotis Dimakis and the cleaning and maintenance of the tablets by metal conservator Tassos Magnisalis. The reading of the tablets, the completion of the damaged texts, their study, interpretation, dating and their inclusion in the historical context of Argos of the first half of the 4th c. BC was realized by today’s Honorary Director of the Epigraphic Museum Charalambos Kritzas.
The exhibition is a collaboration between the Epigraphic Museum and the Argolis Ephorate of Antiquities.
“By mounting this temporary exhibition the Epigraphic Museum has also tried to propose a future permanent exhibition of the bronze tablets at the Archaeological Museum of Argos, when the appropriate space is found to house this important material,” said Dr. Athanasios Themos.
Epigraphic Museum (Room 9), 1Tositsa Street, Athens. Tel .: 210 8232950, 210 8847577, [email protected], www.epigraphicmuseum.gr
Exhibition duration: June 29, 2022 – January 15, 2023.
Opening hours: Wednesday – Monday 8.30–15.30. Closed on Tuesday.