The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is marking 90 years of excavation in the Athenian agora. John McK Camp II, the director, has given an on-site webinar to explain the early fifth century BC Stoa Basileios on the north side of this public space adjacent to the Panathenaic Way. He runs through various features including ‘the oath stone’, the placing of herms, and the public display of the Athenian constitution. He then expands on the vision to make this part of the agora more accessible to the public. It is a privilege to hear such a distinguished excavator explain his work and thinking in situ.
The bouleuterion at Miletos lies behind a small open courtyard. Access to the seating was via two stairways. The capacity seems to have been four approximately 1500 citizens. It was originally roofer with four internal supporting columns.
A dedicatory inscription shows that it was a benefaction of king Antiochos Epiphanes, and therefore dated to the late 170s or early 160s BC.
The bouleuterion at Priene in western Turkey is particularly well preserved. It dates to c. 150 BC. There are 16 rows of seats on the north side, and 10 each on the west and east side. The building was designed to hold approximately 640 individuals, suggesting its role as the space for the council or boule.
An altar decorated with boukrania stands in the centre of the space.
German excavations in the Kerameikos, in the bed of the river Eridanos, revealed major deposits of pot sherds or ostraka with the incised names of individuals. They include:
Aristeides Lysimachou, candidate in the 480s
Kallias Kratiou, candidate in the 480s
Megakles Hippokratous, candidate in the 480s [or later]
Themistokles Neokleous, candidate in the 480s [or later]
Kimon Miltiadou, candidate in the mid 5th century
Although in some cases the date of the (successful) ostracism is known, the individual could have been a candidate in earlier voting.
These ostraka were used in the process of ostracism in the Athenian democracy to restrict the power of a person who had been seen as becoming too powerful. If sufficient votes were cast against an individual they were forced to go into exile.
Note that some of these ostraka come from the same pot.