A day at Piraeus with Xanthippe at 391 BCE

In May and June 2017, we launched our pilot museum theatre performance at the archaeological site of Astikes Pyles (Urban Gates) in the port city of Piraeus. In collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attica, Piraeus and Islands, in particular with the archaeologists Giorgos Peppas and Dora Evangelou, Heterotopia presents a museum theatre application on the use of water, among other themes, during the classical period of the city of Piraeus, with the audience playing the role of the prospective guests of an inn.

The performance takes place at the point where visitors of ancient Piraeus would reach the first houses at the fringes of the classical city. In 391 BCE, Piraeus is at the last apex of its history! The archaeological site of Astikes Pyles (Urban Gates) was first opened to the public in 2016. The building houses the exhibition “Unearthed” which presents to the public the parallel development of the archaeological excavation and the technical project of the extension of Line 3 of Athens Metro. It also houses the facilities (the first in Greece to be permanently open to visitors) for the conservation of all found artifacts. From these excavations, a finding of particular importance are the 126 underground structures for the provision of water to the ancient houses, namely the cisterns, wells and the aqueduct which the residents of Piraeus would count on for their water needs throughout the classical and roman antiquity. Some of them are located in Astikes Pyles and form the scenery for Xanthippe’s inn. In such an environment, the guests make a trip in time to encounter a part of this city’s past!

The performances are scheduled to begin regularly in September 2017.

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