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  • Writer's pictureAntonis Chaliakopoulos, MSc

A Brief History of the Epigraphic Museum in Athens

What is the Epigraphic Museum?

The Epigraphic Museum is a late-19th-century museum that boasts the world’s largest collection of ancient inscriptions.

Epigraphic Museum History

Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions, and Athens’ Epigraphic Museum features the largest collection of ancient inscriptions in the world. It was 19th-century Greek archaeologist Kyriakos Pittakis who gathered the nucleus of the museum’s collection from all over Athens. These ancient finds, supplemented by antiquities recovered from the Acropolis and other inscriptions from the collections of the Archaeological Society of Athens, were combined to form the museum as we know it today, now boasting an unrivalled total of over 14,000 (mostly Greek) items.

Founded in 1885, the museum occupies the ground floor of the National Archaeological Museum’s south wing. However, because its entrance is here on Tositsa Street most visitors usually miss the opportunity to visit this intimate but remarkable collection. Although the greater part of the museum, including its library and laboratory, is only open to researchers and staff, there’s still plenty for you to see.

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