Where Is Laurium Ancient Greece?

Laurium, located in southeastern Attica, was an important ancient Greek mining town. The mines of Laurium were a major source of silver for Athens during the 5th century BC.

The History of Laurium

Laurium was first inhabited in prehistoric times, and the discovery of ancient graves in the area indicates that it was also a significant burial site. However, it wasn’t until the 6th century BC that the mines in Laurium began to be exploited.

Silver Mining in Laurium

The silver mines of Laurium were extremely valuable to Athens. The revenue generated from these mines helped fund the construction of the Athenian navy and other public works. It’s estimated that over 30 million ounces of silver were extracted from these mines during their peak.

Life in Laurium

The mining industry brought many people to Laurium, including slaves who were forced to work in dangerous conditions deep underground. Despite this, there were also free men who chose to work in the mines as they were paid well for their labor.

The Decline of Laurium

As time passed, other sources of silver became available and competition increased. This led to a decline in production and importance for the mines at Laurium. Eventually, they were abandoned altogether.

Visiting Laurium Today

Today, visitors can still see evidence of ancient mining operations at Laurium, including tunnels and shafts carved into the mountainside. The site is also home to a small museum that provides insight into what life would have been like for those who worked there.

  • Location: Laurium is located on the southeastern coast of Attica.
  • Getting There: The site can be reached by car or bus from Athens.
  • Entrance Fee: There is a small entrance fee to visit the museum and the mining site.


Laurium played an important role in ancient Greek history as a major source of silver for Athens. Although the mines are no longer active, visitors can still see evidence of their former glory and learn about what life would have been like for those who worked there.