he National Archaeological Museum is an unrivalled treasure house of Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean, and Classical Greek art and an essential Athens visit by itself. In superb Greek fashion, it forces its way into world's list of top ten museums and undoubtedly has the finest collection of Greek antiquities anywhere in the world!
It is housed in a two-storey neoclassical building -that was built between 1866 and 1898- located on Patission Street 44, at the corner of Tositsa Street.
|It has on display finds from all the parts of the ancient Greek world, dating from the Neolithic period until the end of the Roman period. Today the National Archaeological Museum has one of the most lavish collections in existence of the sculpture and pottery of Greece during Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic times. While one is admiring them it is also worthwhile examining the equally marvelous finds from the Neolithic, Cycladic and Mycenaean periods.|
he museum's main divisions are: Prehistoric, with Mycenae predominating; Sculpture from the Archaic (8th century BC) to Hellenistic (third to second century BC) periods; and Pottery from Geometric (9th century BC) to the end of the 4th century AD. Smaller collections include bronzes in rooms 36 to 40; jewelry in room 32; and the insuperable Minoan-style frescoes from Santorini in room 48.
|he most sought after hall here, is the Mycenaean hall (Room 4), facing the main entrance. In room 4 are exhibited antiquities from the houses, tombs and palaces of Mycenae, Tiryns, Árgos and Attica as well as, all the gold finds from the grave circle at Mycenae. There we can see a magnificent gold funery mask known as the "Mask of Agamemnon". In room 5 are housed stone and ceramic objects from the Neolithic period and the Bronze Age, while in room 6 objects of prehistoric Cycladic art are on display. In room 7 one finds pottery and sculpture from Geometric and Archaic times and there is a statue of the goddess Artemis from Delos, circa 650 BC.|
n room 8 the colossal Kouros from Sounion stands out and in room 9 there are several magnificent sculptures from the middle of the 6th century BC such as the statue of a winged Victory.
In rooms 10 and 11 is to be found sculpture from the 6th century BC. In rooms 12 and 13 the exhibition of sculpture from the 6th century BC continues and includes the marvellous "Kouros of Anavyssos".
In room 14 one can admire the "Self-Crowning Ephebe" from Sounion (400BC) and in room 15 the bronze statue of Poseidon or Zeus Artemisios stands out. In rooms 16-28 the art of Classical times unfolds through sculpture and funerary reliefs.
n rooms 29 and 30 Hellenistic sculpture is on display. The "Ephebe of Antikythera" is exceptional, as well as the statues of Poseidon and Themis. In room 32 is to be found the collection of Eleni Stathatos and in rooms 36-37 the Karapanos collection, containing mainly bronze objects from the Oracle of Zeus at Dodoni.
In rooms 41, 42, 43 can be seen marble and bronze Roman sculpture, portraits of Roman emperors and Herme steles of Greek luminaries.
|n room 48 are displayed the finds which were discovered in the excavations on the island of Santorini . Of particular interest are the pots made with a local technique. But the exceptional wall paintings are what steals one's interest, while giving us valuable informations about the daily life on the island in the 16th century BC, before the volcanic eruption. |
Room 49 contains ceramics from the Bronze Age to the Geometric period, room 50 contains Geometric ceramics and room 51 has pottery in the so-called Proto-Attican style.
ooms 52 and 53 contain black-figured pottery from the 7th to the 6th century BC which come mainly from Attican workshops. In room 54 there are both black-figured and red-figured pottery. The red-figured crater from the Acropolis, by the Seriskos Painter, is worth particular attention.
In room 55 we find the collection of white lekythes. These were special vases used in funeral ceremonies. Room 56 houses red-figured pots from the end of the 5th - 4th century BC.
|Of especial note are the six Panathenaic amphoras, black-figured vases, that were found on the ancient way to Eretria.|
|he National Archaeological Museum also houses a Nomismatic Collection. This is one of the most the most important collections of its kind in the world. It contains many rare Greek coins from the 7th century BC until the modern period. There is also on display, a collection of lead-seals among with bronze and lead Archaic symbols and Archaic and Byzantine measures.|
The Museum also houses an inscription collection, which contains over 13,000 inscriptions from the 6th century BC until 300 AD. On display are inscriptions of important historical, religious and philosophical value, as well as the bases of works of art with the names of great artists on them.
Finally, in the National Archaeological Museum is housed an exhibition with all the finds from the ancient town of Santorini island on display.
The Acropolis area
A stroll in Plaka and Monastiraki
Photos and informations taken from "Athens - Attica"
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