Programme "Scientific projects"

Organological study and physical reconstruction of the musical finds (chelys - aulos - harp) from the "Tomb of the Poet" – Daphne, Athens

Faculty of Music Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (EKPA)


In spring 1981, in the area of Daphne (33 Olgas St.), during a rescue excavation, carried out by the archaeologist Angelos Liangouras, two adjacent graves were discovered. One of them contained a skeleton and four white-ground lekythoi. The other grave was richly adorned with parts of a papyrus roll, a polyptych, writing utensils and three musical instruments. The complete content of the two graves is currently on permanent exhibition in a special show case at the Archaeological Museum of Peiraias. The two burials have been dated as the Classical period, ca. 430 BC. The find has been regarded as one of special significance, as it comprises a ‘closed system’ on the one hand, while, on the other, it affords unique information on both the writing practice and the music of the Classical period. With the permission of the 26thEphorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, the team has undertaken the study and publication of the three musical instruments (harp, lyre, aulos). Because of the uniqueness of the instruments, the aforementioned organological study will include physical modeling and the creation of exact replicas of the instruments.

Final Report



Stelios Psaroudakes, Assistant Professor in Ancient Greek Music, Faculty of Music Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Project Team:

Christos Terzis, PhD, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens / Independent Researcher

University Campus, Zografou

15784 Athens

Tel.: +30 210 72 77 541, +30 210 72 77 772

Fax: +30 210 72 77 874, +30 210 72 77 575