The Tumulus of the Athenians at Marathon in Athens: The Tumulus of Marathon is a vaulted tomb where the 192 Athenian soldiers who died in the Marathon Battle were buried. The burial monument, also known as the Soros, is a reminder of the epic victory of the Greek forces against the allegedly unbeatable Persians.
Nowadays, those interested can visit the small park around the tomb and see the marble stele, erected as a reminder of this unique chapter of Greek history.
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The tomb is 10 meters tall and has a diameter of 50 meters. Right next to it, stands a statue of Miltiades, the general of the army during the battle, thanks to the strategic intelligence of which, the Greeks managed to triumph in 490 BC.
Archaeological research brought to light evidence of the cremated bones, as well as traces of the funeral supper. The location of the burial is rather significant and underlines the outstanding case of the Marathon Battle; although the tradition ordered that the fallen ones would be buried in their hometown, it was decided that the warriors of Marathon should be buried on the battlefield, as a remark of their exceptional bravery. The tumulus was a point of reference, and every year the young Athenians would visit the place to leave wreaths and make sacrifices to honor the gallant heroes.
Although the renowned archeologist Heinrich Schliemann made systematic efforts to discover the burial tomb, the tumulus was discovered and excavated by Valerios Stais in 1891.
The Tumulus of Marathon is the starting point of the International Marathon Race that takes place every year. In fact, the Marathon Race follows the route taken by Pheidipides, who departed from Marathon and started running to reach Athens as soon as possible to announce the defeat of the Persians to his fellow citizens.
A Peace March that takes place annually in commemoration of the first march for peace that Grigoris Lambrakis (a celebrated politician and anti-war activist) followed in 1963 starts from the Tumulus of Marathon and stops at the center of Athens, too.