Heraklion Archaeological Museum


Heraklion Archaeological Museum

The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one the great museums of Greece and the best in the world regarding the Minoan art as it contains the most notable and complete collection of artifacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete. The museum began in 1883 as a simple collection of antiquities. A dedicated building was constructed from 1904 to 1912 at the instigation of two Cretan archaeologists, Iosif Hatzidakis and Stefanos Xanthoudidis. From 1937, work began on the present earthquake-proof building, designed by the renowned Greek architect Patroklos Karantinos. The museum was damaged during World War II, but the collection survived intact and was again accessible to the public from 1952. A new wing was added in 1964.

Besides the Minoan collection, other periods of Cretan history are covered, from the Neolithic to the Greco-Roman period.The Archaeological Museum at Heraklion is dedicated to Minoan art and artefacts, with a smaller section for post-Minoan art and artefacts. (The Museum is currently being renovated but a temporary exhibition is open in the main building.)

Collections

Room I

Covers findings from 6000 BCE to the pre-Palatial period, including:
* Neolithic fertility goddess
* Vasiliki ware
* stone jars from the island of Mochlos
* miniature clay sculptures

Room II

Covers findings from 2000 BCE to 1700 BCE in Knossos, Malia and several peak sanctuaries, including:
* Kamares ware pottery
* glazed plaques of Minoan houses (aka the "Town Mosaic")
* peak sanctuary figurines

Room III

* Phaistos Disc
* Kamares ware pottery

Room IV

Covers findings from 1700 BCE to 1450 BCE, including:
* bull's head rhyton from Knossos
* snake goddess figurines
* tools and weapons, mostly cast in bronze
* cups with Linear A inscriptions

Room V

Covers findings from 1450 BCE to 1400 BCE, including:
* Egyptian trade objects
* clay model of a house
* Examples of a Linear A and Linear B scripts

Room VI

Covers findings from cemeteries at Knossos, Phaistos and Archanes, including:
* clay figurines
* gold jewelry
* horse burial from a tholos tomb at Archanes

Room VII

Covers findings from 1700 BCE to 1300 BCE from smaller villas and sacred caves, including:
* bronze double axes
* the "Harvesters Vase"
* steatite vases from Hagia Triada
* gold jewelry from Malia

Room VIII - Zakros

Covers findings from 1700 BCE to 1450 BCE from the palace of Zakros, including:
* rock crystal rhyton
* bull's head rhyton
* pottery with floral and marine motifs

Room IX

Covers findings from 1700 BCE to 1450 BCE in eastern Crete, including:
* terracotta figurines from Pisokephalo peak sanctuary
* seal stones

Room X - Mycenaean

Covers findings from 1400 BCE to 1100 BCE, including:
* clay figurines
* clay sculpture of dancers with a lyre player

Room XI - Dorian

Covers findings from 1100 BCE to 900 BCE during the arrival of the Dorian Greeks, including:
* weapons and tools, mostly of iron
* clay fertility figurines
* votive offerings

Room XII

Covers findings up to 650 BCE, including:
* pottery decorated with griffins
* artefacts and figurines from Kato Syme

Room XIII - Larnakes

Minoan larnakes (clay coffins) are on display here.

Room XIV - Hall of the Frescoes

* Frescoes from Knossos and Hagia Triada
* The Hagia Triada sarcophagus

Room XV & Room XVI

* More frescoes, including the famous "La Parisienne"

Room XX - Classical Greek, Greco-Roman

* sculptures from Classical Greek and Greco-Roman periods

Visitor Information

Hours: April-September Monday 12-7pm Tuesday-Sunday 8am-7pm October-March daily 8am-5pm

Admittance: €6, free on Sundays November-May.The Museum is currently CLOSED to the public as the building is being completely renovated but an exhibition of highlights from the collection is now open in a building behind the Museum.

References

* "The Rough Guide to Crete" ISBN 1-84353-292-1

Notable artifacts

*Snake Goddess
*Phaistos Disc
*Arkalochori Axe

Renovation

This museum has been closed for renovations since late 2006. A temporary exhibition is now open within the museum where all the main artifacts (including the Phaistos Disk, Snake Goddess, Bull Leaping and King of the Lillies Frescoes) are displayed. The temporary exhibition includes approximately 450 items in chronological order with the explanatory plaques and context plaques.

ee also

* List of museums in Greece
* Minoan civilization

External links

*http://www.ancient-greece.org/museum/muse-iraclion.html
*http://www.interkriti.org/museums/hermus.htm
*http://www.explorecrete.com/archaeology/heraklion-museum.html
*http://www.dilos.com/location/11159


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