During excavation of a lot at 35 Salaminos Street, remains of the funerary monuments of the Demosion Sema were revealed. Dating to the 5th century B.C., it was the most important cemetery in ancient Athens.
This public cemetery, linked with the rise of democracy, had been founded during the Classical age on the northwest limits of the city. It was situated along the ancient road that ran through the asty (urban center) connecting the Kerameikos with Plato’s Academy. Prominent men as well as those fallen in the many wars waged by the Athenians had been buried there at public expense, so that the Demosion Sema resembled a military cemetery. In accordance with the “law of their forefathers” (patrios nomos), those who had fallen in war were cremated and then brought back from distant battlefields for honorary burial. Two sanctuaries are mentioned as having been in the area, one dedicated to Dionysus Eleuthereus and the other to Ariste-Kalliste, an epithet of the goddess Artemis.