Two visitors inspecting the objects

Room 15

Greece: Athens and Lycia

520–430 BC

Visiting the gallery

Opening times

Daily: 10.00–17.00 (Fridays: 20.30)
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Advance booking advised

Gallery audio guides

Listen on the Audio app, available on the App Store and Google Play.

Following the defeat of the Persian invasion of Greece in 480–479 BC, democratic Athens built up a powerful maritime empire.

In an age of prosperity Athenian artists flourished, and Athens' distinctive painted pottery was exported all over the Mediterranean world.

In Room 15, pottery is shown alongside other objects to illustrate themes such as democracy, the human body, the Athenian Empire, the people of Athens, and relations with the Lycians. Among those pressed into joining Athens' tribute-paying were the Lycians – so-called allies of the empire living in what is now south-west Turkey.

Sculpture in this gallery comes from tombs and shrines built on the acropolis of Lycian Xanthos, south-west Turkey.

Take a virtual tour

Explore Greek culture and mythology on the beautiful pottery on display in the Athens and Lycia gallery.

Display case filled with pottery. ©2020 Google.


  • Some objects in this collection feature on the British Sign Language multimedia guide. This resource is temporarily unavailable. You can access a selection of BSL films on your own device.
  • Some objects in this collection feature on the audio description guide, available on Soundcloud.
  • Seating is available.
  • Step-free access.
  • View sensory map.

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