Archaeology News: Ancient Hermes Statue Unearthed In Athens

Herms or Hermas are sculptures, usually of the head of Hermes, and sometimes a torso. These pieces of public art were usually positioned on squared columns erected to delineate road crossings.

Archaeology news: Ancient Hermes statue unearthed in Athens

By TOM FISH

The marble head was stumbled upon just 4ft (1.4m) beneath the pavement on the busy Aiolou street on Friday, November 13. 

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Unique Athens! We are filled with pride and admiration

Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis

The archaeology team on site said in a statement: “[It] depicts the god in a mature age and is obviously a part of a herm.”

Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, wrote on Facebook: “It is already under the responsibility of the Ephorate of Antiquities.

“Unique Athens! We are filled with pride and admiration.”

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Herms or Hermas are sculptures, usually of the head of Hermes, and sometimes a torso. 

These pieces of public art were usually positioned on squared columns erected to delineate road crossings.

Hermes, Greek god, son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia, is also identified with the Roman Mercury.

His name most originated from ‘herma’, the Greek word for a heap of stones.

Archaeology news: Copy or adaptation of a Greek statue of the late 5th or early 4th century BC

Archaeology news: Copy or adaptation of a Greek statue of the late 5th or early 4th century BC (Image: Getty)

This is due to such statues being commonly used to indicate boundaries and important landmarks.

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According to Greek mythology, Hermes was considered as a protector of both travellers and merchants.

Rich with cultural history, Athens is well known for its multitude of ancient archaeological sites from Classical and Roman times.

The Greek capital is a popular site for archaeologists, as Athens has been continuously inhabited for more than 3,000 years.

Originally published at Express

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