Kyriakos Pittakis

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Kyriakos Pittakis.

Kyriakos S. Pittakis or Pittakys (1798–1863) was a Greek archaeologist from Athens. He fought in the Greek War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire, besieging the Ottoman troops in the Acropolis; desperate for ammunition, the Ottomans began to dismantle sections of the Acropolis in order to recover the lead clamps which they intended to use for bullets. When Pittakis and his cohorts learned of this, they sent bullets to the opposing army, in hopes that the Acropolis would be spared such destruction.

In 1824, he left for Corfu, where he studied in the Ionian Academy. After independence, Pittakis became Greece's first General Keeper of Antiquities. From 1837 to 1840, Pittakis supervised the reassembly of the Erechtheion. Though well-intentioned, his ignorance drew criticism from architecture historians and archaeologists. Kyriakos Pittakis campaigned to collect epigraphical material in Athens, gathering inscriptions in the church of Megali Panagia, the Theseum, the Stoa of Hadrian and the Tower of the Winds. Such preservationary efforts have been considered significant contributions to Greek archaeology. He also carried out the first excavations at Mycenae in 1841. He found and restored the Lion Gate.

Sources[edit]

  • Papageorgiou-Venetas, A. Athens: the Ancient Heritage and the Historic Cityscape in a Modern Metropolis. Athens (1994). p. 230.
  • Funeral eulogy for Pittakis, by archaeologist and professor A. Rizos Rangavis, October 24, 1863.