The Institute for Advanced Study Squeeze Collection of Athenian Inscriptions

Material Description

Soon after his appointment as Professor at IAS, Benjamin D. Meritt took the first steps to build a repository of squeezes, “which will be second only to that in Berlin,” he wrote on September 8, 1935. Squeezes are prepared in the field or in museums using paper that is wetted, placed on an inscribed surface, beaten with a stiff brush to capture each incision and eliminate air bubbles, and left to dry before being removed for examination. Meritt’s ambition to build the IAS Collection resulted in squeezes made of inscriptions at the Epigraphical Museum in Athens, on the Acropolis, and at Eleusis (a large community with a famous sanctuary); he also contacted several museums that had large holdings of Greek inscriptions to contribute to the collection, including the Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum, the Louvre Museum, and the Archaeological Museum at Izmir. Over time, more and more squeezes were donated by scholars to IAS—including squeezes of inscriptions from the Athenian Agora—resulting in a very large and valuable Collection. The proposed project will digitize ca. 35,000 squeezes of Athenian inscriptions from the IAS Collection, which cover every aspect of political, social, economic, religious, legal, and cultural life in Athens from ca. 400 BCE to ca. 200 CE. They represent a large variety of texts, including treaties, laws, decrees, honorific inscriptions, accounts of building projects, tribute lists of the Athenian Empire, grave inscriptions, literary texts (epigrams), lists of officials, dedications, inventories, and artists’ signatures.

Year Added:



Institute for Advanced Study


Dr. Angelos Chaniotis
Institute for Advanced Study

Date Range

400 - 200

Geographic Scope

The inscriptions captured by the nominated IAS Squeeze Collection are representative of Athens, Greece, the city that dominated ancient Greek political and cultural history for centuries. Athens has produced the largest number of inscriptions in the Greek world.


  • 35000 squeezes