The Marathon plain is important not only for the historical victory of the Greeks over the Persians in 490 BC, but also for the many new archaeological discoveries made in the 1960s.
The most important sites are of course firstly the burial mound (soros) in which are buried the Athenian dead (192) who died in the battle against the Persians. The hill, almost 10 meters high and 60 meters in diameter, offers a good view over the plain of Marathon, but of course it is not allowed to enter. At the foot of the burial mound is a modern copy of an archaic tombstone, the “Warrior of Marathon,” in fact the headstone of a soldier who fell about 20 years earlier. The original gravestones of the fallen have all disappeared.
The Victory Monument mentioned by Pausanias, a simple ionic column near the church of the Panagia Mesosporitissa, lies against the “Great Swamp”.
If you take the road to the museum (with beautiful images of an Isis shrine associated with the famous “Marathonese” Herodes Atticus, you will pass a large burial mound built of loose stones: the burial mound of the “Boiotians from Plataia”, excavated in 1969-1970. A visit to the museum is certainly worthwhile, because of the many finds from the various prehistoric burial mounds in the area Immediately to the north of the museum you can see (under a shelter) some of these prehistoric graves.
Right: The burial mound for the 192 Athenians. Entirely against normal practice and intended as the ultimate tribute to the fallen, the fallen Athenians were not brought back to Athens to be buried there, but were buried on the spot. Excavations in 1890 revealed remains of ash, charred bone material, and burial vases from the early fifth century. Below: The (reconstructed) victory monument of the Athenians.