In 1895, the Archaeological Society begun systematic excavations at the site under the direction of the archaeologist Themistocles Sophoulis, a native of Samos who later pursued a prominent career in politics. Excavating activity was resumed in 1909 and 1925 under the direction of G. Oikonomou.
In 1957 Anastasios Orlandos who was at the time the Secretary of the Archaeological Society and member of the Academy of Athens took charge of the excavation project of Ancient Messene and worked until 1974. The excavation conducted by Anastasios Orlandos and his predecessors brought to light the greatest part of the building complex of the Asklepieion. In 1978 the entry on Messene appeared in the 15th volume of the German Opus Real Encyclopadie by L. Meyer, while in 1979 a translation and substantial commentary in modern Greek on the Messeniaka of Pausanias was published by N. Papachatzis.
In 1986 the Board of the Archaeological Society assigned the direction of the excavation project to professor Petros Themelis. Excavations and work on the restoration of the extant monuments started in 1987 and continues to the present day showing significant progress. All the secular and sacred buildings which Pausanias saw and described in his work during his visit in the time of Emperor Antoninus Pius (155-160A.D.), have been brought to light under P.Themelis direction.