The American School of Classical Studies has been excavating in the area of the Athenian Agora since 1931, bringing to light the history of the area over a period of 5000 years. Finds range from scattered pieces of pottery of the late Neolithic period (ca. 3000 B.C.) to the contents of 19th and early 20th century basements. The Agora of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. has been the main focus of attention. Scholars have identified the often scanty material remains on the basis of ancient references to the Agora as the center of civic activity of ancient Athens. Public documents inscribed on stone, standards for weights and measures, and jurors’ identification tickets and ballots reflect the administrative nature of the site, while traces of private dwellings in the area immediately bordering the open square, with their household pottery and other small finds, throw light on the everyday lives of Athenian citizens. (Link to the searchable excavation database of the Agora Excavations)
After the initial phase of excavation, the area was landscaped and the Hellenistic Stoa of Attalos was rebuilt to serve as museum and workspace. The reconstruction, under the authority of the Department of Restorations of the Greek Ministry of Education, was paid for by American donors, half the amount being given by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Excavations at the Athenian Agora by the American School are ongoing. Funding has been provided by private donors and foundations in America; the most recent work has been supported by the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI).