Southeast Fountain House

The slight traces just south of the Church of the Holy Apostles have been identified as the remains of an early fountain house (Figs. 33, 34). The identification is based on a large terracotta pipeline that delivered water to the rear of the building from the east, and overflow channels designed to carry water away from the two side chambers (Fig. 35). The central hall is restored with a colonnaded facade. A date of ca. 530–520 B.C. is suggested by pottery found under the floor and the use of polygonal limestone masonry, with Ζ-clamps to join the blocks. The fountain is one of the earliest public buildings in the Agora, and the fact that water was piped to this specific spot suggests that the area was being deliberately developed to accommodate large numbers of people.

In the 2nd century A.D. Pausanias identified this building as the Enneakrounos (nine-spouted) fountain, built in the 6th century B.C. by the tyrant Peisistratos, but Thucydides -- who presumably knew better -- locates that famous monument south of the Acropolis, below the sanctuary of Olympian Zeus.

Figure 33. Actual state and restored plans of the Southeast Fountain House, second half of the 6th century B.C.
Figure 34. Model of the Southeast Fountain House, view from the north.
Figure 35. Juncture of overflow pipes from the basins of the Southeast Fountain House.
Excavations in the Athenian Agora are conducted by the American School of Classical Studies.
Primary funding is provided by the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI).