The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is without doubt one of the best and largest archaeological museums of Greece. Founded on the finish of the nineteenth century its major function was to accommodate the huge assortment of crucial antiquities found throughout Greece, whereas preserving their historic and cultural worth.
The Brief History of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens
The National Archaeological Museum was the primary museum based within the Greek state in 1829 after the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman Empire with its unique deal with being the island of Aegina. The museum was later moved to its present location within the coronary heart of Athens in 1866. With a beneficiant donation of land from E. Tositsa and a considerable donation from the Bernardakis household from St. Petersburg, the museum with the architectural designs of Ludwig Lange and Ernst Ziller’s touches on its façade – took its ultimate kind and opened its doorways to the general public in 1889.
During World War II antiquities from the Archaeological Museum and different museums had been packed in bins and saved within the basements of the Museums across the nation and different areas.
National Archaeological Museum Athens Collection
The National Archaeological Museum of Athens primarily homes excavations from the Attica area in addition to different elements of the nation. Its huge assortment accounts for over 11,000 artifacts from prehistory to late antiquity.
Today in its 8,000 sq. meters of area guests can admire a complete of 5 everlasting collections:
The Collection of Prehistoric Antiquities
This huge assortment is devoted to the outstanding works of the superior civilizations that developed within the Aegean from sixth millennium to 1050 BC. Exhibits embody excavations from Neolithic, Cycladic and Mycenaean civilizations in addition to findings from the prehistoric settlement of Thira in Santorini.
The early Cycladic tradition spanned the third millennium BC.
Due to their privileged geographical location in the midst of the Aegean between the 2 continents (Europe and Asia Minor) in addition to the shut proximity to Crete and the Greek mainland – allowed the Cyclades to regulate commerce and communication all through the broader area. Most finds of the Early Cycladic interval (3200-2000 BC) come from burials.
A notable assortment devoted to the frying pan vessels depict probably the most attribute creations of the Cycladic Civilization. The frying pans that are shallow vessels made principally of clay, with incised ornament on the outside had been found in graves. The ornamental motifs depict symbols of the ocean and sky in types of spirals, circles with brief rays, stars, triangles, fish and starfish. Their perform stays unknown, but more than likely they had been used for sensible and ritual functions alike. The most spectacular examples of frying pans had been found on the cemetery of Chalandriani on Syros.
The origins of the Mycenaean civilization (1600-1100 BC), with its best heart Mycenae within the Peloponnese, is understood for its ruling warrior class who enhanced their relations with Crete’s Minoan civilization, thus importing supplies, concepts and expertise.
The discovery of Grave Circle A in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann delivered to gentle the good, unknown civilization, confirming Mycaenae’s significance throughout this era and verifying Homer’s description of Mycenae as “rich in gold”.
The Collection of Sculpture Works – the extraordinary assortment unveils the evolution of historical Greek sculpture from the seventh century B.C. till the fifth century AD. Today the gathering numbers roughly 16,000 sculptures which come from public buildings of Attica, Eastern mainland Greece, the Peloponnese and the Aegean islands, in addition to sanctuaries and necropolises. Also a major variety of sculptures come from Thessaly, Western Greece, Macedonia, Thrace and Cyprus.
The floor flooring of the museum, Hall 7-35 is split into 4 sections devoted to the Archaic, Classical, Hellinistic and Roman interval.
The Collection of Metalworking Works is without doubt one of the richest collections of unique works, statues, collectible figurines and miniature crafts displaying the evolution of metallic work all through the centuries, the a number of inventive developments in addition to the various traditions, each day life, cults and beliefs of the folks from Geometric to the Roman interval.
The metalwork assortment is housed on the bottom flooring of the museum Hall 36-39 and is split into 4 segments – the introduction to Metal Work Collection, Geometric, Archaic and Classic Period.
The Vase and Miniature Collection boast over 6,000 consultant works of historical Greek ceramics from the eleventh century. B.C. as much as the 4th century B.C. Other notable reveals on show are from important sanctuaries of Sounio in Attica, Heraion of Argos in Argolis, amongst others.
The imposing assortment is discovered on the first flooring of the museum (Hall 49-57) and is split into 4 durations: Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Late Classical/Early Hellenistic Period.
The Egyptian Collection holds a major place within the National Archaeological Museum Athens, and its core is made from the numerous donations of two Greek expatriates from Egypt, Ioannis Dimitriou and Alexandros Rostovich. The Collection was additional enhanced because of the donations made by the Greek Archaeological Society in 1894, and the federal government of Egypt in 1893 in addition to different smaller particular person donations and objects present in excavations carried out throughout Greece.
National Archaeological Museum Athens Highlights
The outstanding assortment of the archaeological museums has many notable objects, beneath we listing a few of our favorites.
The Mask of Agamemnon (Collection of Mycenaean Antiquities, Ground Floor, Hall 3-6)
The unique masks from the sixteenth century B.C. is housed within the National Archaeological Museum, a replica is on show on the Archaeological Museum of Mycenae. The hammered gold sheet depicts the imposing determine of a bearded man. The two holes close to the virtually lower ears had been used to safe the masks over the deceased’s face with a wire. Schliemann attributed this discovery to Agamemnon.
Clay frying pan vessel with an outline of a ship which showcases the good significance of seafaring. Discovered on the Chalandriani cemetery on the island of Syros. (Collection of Cycladic Antiquities, Ground Floor, Hall 3-6)
Spring fresco, the one fresco of Akrotiri, Thera, which was discovered intact, in place, extending onto three partitions of the identical room depicting the Theran panorama previous to the volcanic eruption. Room D2, Complex Delta. Akrotiri, Thera, sixteenth century BC.
The Boxers fresco that portrays two bare boys sporting a belt and boxing gloves. Room B1, Building B. Akroteri, Thera, sixteenth century BC.
Both frescos displayed on the Collection of Antiquities of Thera, Ground Floor Hall 3-6.
15161 Bronze statue of Zeus or Poseidon, it was discovered on the backside of the ocean of Cape Artemision in north Euboea. The god is holding a thunderbolt or trident in his proper hand. A effective instance of the Severe fashion recognized for the superb rendering of movement and physique anatomy.
(Classical Period, Ground Floor, Hall 7-35)
15177 Bronze statue of a horse and a younger jockey, it was retrieved in items from a shipwreck off Cape Artemision in north Euboea. The work is named the Artemision Jockey.
(Hellenistic Period, Ground Floor, Hall 7-35)
Marble group of Aphrodite, Pan and Eros, made from Parian marble was found within the “House of the Poseidoniastai of Beryttos” (Beirut) on the historical website of Delos. In the sculpture the nude goddess Aphrodite is attempting to defend herself from the goat-footed god Pan, whereas god Eros has come to her rescue. (Hellenistic Period, Ground Floor, Hall 7-35)
Bronze statue of the emperor Augustus (27 BC – AD 14) depicted in maturing age, was discovered within the Aegean sea between the islands of Euboea and Agios Efstratios. (Roman Period, Ground Floor, Hall 7-35)
The Antikythera Mechanism is among the many exceptional findings of the Antikythera shipwreck. The 82 fragments of the Mechanism are housed within the Bronze assortment of the National Archaeological Museum. More than a century of analysis has confirmed that it’s the oldest recognized astronomical and calendrical calculating machine. It has been named the “World’s First Computer”.
November 1st – March thirty first:
Tuesday: 13:00 – 20:00
From Wednesday till Monday: 08:30 – 15:30
April 1st – October thirty first:
Tuesday: 13:00 – 20:00
From Wednesday till Monday: 08:00 – 20:00
The National Archaeological Museum is closed on 25 – 26 December, 1 January, 25 March, Orthodox Easter Sunday and 1 May.
Ticket value: 12€ (From April 1st till October thirty first) | 6€ (From November 1st till March thirty first)
Buy your Athens National Archaeological Museum Ticket with Audio Tour right here.