«DROP OFF PERSEPHONE» (Koumoundourou Lake) Mrs Despoina Moisidou (Teacher of ICT- member of OIKOPOLIS Association) Lake's name and its meaning Today’s name is Koumoundourou Lake. This name is coming from the family name of Alexander Koumoundouros, ten times Prime Minister in the second half of the 19 th century. This lake is one of two lakes of the area(the second one was dried in the 1950 decade), formed artificially in ancient times, when the ancient “Iera Odos” blocked the water flow from the nearby existing springs seawards. “Iera Odos” means Holy Road, and it was the ancient road from Athena to Eleusis, from which the Eleusinian cortege was passing through (parts of this ancient road have been brought to light, after the excavation works for the METRO railroad construction). The two artificial lakes were called, at that time, Reiton Lakes, and they were gathering water from the adjacent group of ancient fountains, in the west edge of Aegaleo mountain. Another ancient name was Katharmon Lake (the Greek word “Katharmos” means expiation). That name was given because of the ancient inhabitants’ beliefs, who believed that the lake’s water was “infernal”, coming from the underworld, and thus the lake was considered as a holy one, dedicated to Persephone (and to Demeter, the one that is dried now). In Greek mythology, Persephone (or “Kore” –that means daughter), was the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, and she was the queen of the underworld. Geographical information : As mentioned before, the studied lake is an artificial one, and collects the water from fountains in the surrounding area. It is virtually a lagoon, as it is very close to the sea and stands a little bit over the sea level (1 m higher). In ancient times it was formed by the water flow blockage by the ancient “Iera odos” while nowadays the Athens - Corinth National Road separates it from the sea, in the North-East edge of the gulf of Eleusis. The Lake distance from the center of Athens (Syntagma square) is approximately 15 Km to West North West. Google maps’ coordinates: 38.023945, 23.600858. The lake’s surface is 143.225 m 2. Its depth is less than 1,5 m, except in a small area, around the undersurface fountains, where its depth is 2,8 m approximately. The lake’s coastline is 1,3 Km approximately.