National Archaeological Museum

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April 8, 2006 - Saturday - I visit the National Archaeological Museum today. This museum contains one of the largest collections of ancient Greek art and antiquity to be found anywhere in the world, and is therefore a must-see.  Its galleries present the long panorama of the evolution of Greek art from the prehistoric period to Late Roman antiquity.  Many of the original artifacts from the archaeological sites to be found around Greece are displayed here.

Statues


Bronze statue of Paris. 340-330 B.C. Details

The 'Artemision Jockey' Bronze statue of a horse and young jockey. About 140 B.C.

Bronze statue of Zeus or Poseidon ca 460 B.C. Details

Life-size bronze head of a warrior 490-480 B.C. Details

Thasian marble portrait bust of Antinoos, the favorite of emperor Hadrian. AD 130-138 Details
 

Pottery


Vase with warriors

Attic Red-Figure Pottery 415-390 B.C. Details

White-ground Lekythoi vases Details

Funerary


'The Atalante Hermes'. Funerary statue of a youth depicted in the form of the god Hermes. Pentelic marble. 2 c A.D. Details

Statue of Aphrodite. Parian marble. 4 c B.C. Details

Marble grave relief

A woman sitting on a stool. Grave relief. Pentelic marble 340 B.C. Details

April 11, 2006 - Tuesday - I revisit the National Archaeological Museum today. When I first visited the Museum on Saturday, it closed before I could see the showpiece gold artifacts recovered from Mycenae.

This time I spent a full two hours viewing this important gallery. I saw the famous funerary Mask of Agamemnon, as well as many other superb artifacts (many made of gold). The side gallery showcasing Cycladic art was a surprise, since these are pre-Mycenaen.


Gold death-mask, known as the 'mask of Agamemnon'. This mask depicts the imposing face of a bearded man. Details

Grave III ('Graves of the Women'), Grave Circle A, Mucenae, 16th c B.C. Details

Gold and silver tableware from Graves IV and V, Grave Circle A, Mycenae. 16 c B.C. "The Cup of Nestor" top-most right. Details

Creto-Mycenaean gold cup depicting the capture of bulls Details

Ivory lyre with elaborate relief decorations. A pair of sphinxes flanking a column decorate the base (sound box) Details

Bronze dagger with inlaid decoration depicting a lion hunt. Details

I must confess I'm not much of a fan of history, however visiting all these ancient sites in Greece and seeing so many fascinating artifacts brings ancient civilizations alive. Thousands of Greek schoolchildren visit these sites and museums every day.

 

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