Ancient Mines at “Holy Trinity” (Hagia Triada), Lavrio, Greece

Credit Management Fund for the Execution of Archaeological Projects (Contract of work in the Project Scientific Committee on the “Protection, research and promotion of monuments of SE Attica)

Photo Source: S. Papazoglou in the framework of the Labour Contract with the Credit Management Fund for the Execution of Archaeological Projects (TDPEAE)

General plan of the Archaeological site

2010-2011

Architectural Survey of the Archaeological Site

 

 

WORKING GROUP

Emilio Bendermacher - Geroussis (Architect Engineer), Stavros Papazoglou (Architect Engineer), Vangelis Kakavogiannis (Archaeologist)

 

The mines in the area of Lavrio are among the oldest in Greece. Mining activity there dates back to 3,000 BC, but their systematic use began with the establishment of the Athenian Democracy in 508 BC by Cleisthenes. The mines of Lavrio were Athens’ main source of wealth during the Classical period (5th and 4th centuries BC). The first known reference to these mines concerned the minting of one of the first silver coins in the world, the Athenian drachma, in circa 580 BC. They temporarily lost their value when Athens lost the Peloponnesian War. Production was temporarily restored to remarkable levels during the era of Lykourgos in the 4th century BC. Mining was completely discontinued in the 2nd century BC because, reaching depths of 100 metres, the miners encountered water in the tunnels, but also because the Romans found it very difficult to process the ore. Thus the Lavrio mines lost their leading position in global silver production which they had held for nearly a millennium. 

An Architectural Survey of the Archaeological site of the mines was carried out at the “Holy Trinity” (Hagia Triada) site of Lavrio, aimed at its landscaping and transformation into a visitor-friendly organised area.