There they were in 1995, some builders, quite happily starting work on a new ventilation shaft for the city’s metro system. And then they discover this, an entire baths structure dating from around the third century AD.
The site, which was opened up to the public in 2003, is near to Hadrian’s Arch and is freely visible at any time, primarily because it’s next to a large road (Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias) and it’s difficult to imagine what else they could do with it.
The planned ventilation shaft was moved to the south of the site, since there was a huge heap of archaeology in the way, and it’s thought that there’s more of this structure under the National Gardens.
The original baths were badly damaged during some raid, of which there were a lot, but they were reconstructed in around the fifth to sixth century AD.
Dating from the Byzantine period, some of the pots used for storing cereals which were sunk into the floor.
It’s wonderful to be in a city where this sort of history can just be uncovered having been gone unrecorded for centuries.