|Location||Patission Street, Athens, Greece|
|Public transit access|
The National Archaeological Museum (Greek : Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο) in Athens houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide. It is situated in the Exarcheia area in central Athens between Epirus Street, Bouboulinas Street and Tositsas Street while its entrance is on the Patission Street adjacent to the historical building of the Athens Polytechnic university.
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.
The first national archaeological museum in Greece was established by the governor of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias in Aigina in 1829. Subsequently, the archaeological collection was relocated to a number of exhibition places until 1858, when an international architectural competition was announced for the location and the architectural design of the new museum.
Count Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias, sometimes anglicized as John Capodistrias, was a Greek statesman who served as the Foreign Minister of the Russian Empire and was one of the most distinguished politicians and diplomats of Europe. After a long and distinguished career in European politics and diplomacy he was elected as the first head of state of independent Greece (1827–31). He is considered a founder of the modern Greek state, and the architect of Greek independence.
The current location was proposed and the construction of the museum's building began in 1866 and was completed in 1889 using funds from the Greek Government, the Greek Archaeological Society and the society of Mycenae. Major benefactors were Eleni Tositsa who donated the land for the building of the museum, and Demetrios and Nikolaos Vernardakis from Saint Petersburg who donated a large amount for the completion of the museum.
Mycenae is an archaeological site near Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about 120 kilometres south-west of Athens; 11 kilometres north of Argos; and 48 kilometres south of Corinth. The site is 19 kilometres inland from the Saronic Gulf and built upon a hill rising 900 feet above sea level.
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.
The initial name for the museum was The Central Museum. It was renamed to its current name in 1881 by Prime Minister of Greece Charilaos Trikoupis. In 1887 the important archaeologist Valerios Stais became the museum's curator.
The Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, colloquially referred to as the Prime Minister of Greece, is the head of government of the Hellenic Republic and the leader of the Greek cabinet. The incumbent prime minister is Alexis Tsipras, who took office on 21 September 2015.
Charilaos Trikoupis was a Greek politician who served as a Prime Minister of Greece seven times from 1875 until 1895.
Valerios Stais was a Greek archaeologist. He was born in Kythera. He studied medicine and later archaeology. He became the director of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens in 1887 and held that post until his death. During that period he organized or participated in excavations in Epidaurus, Argolis, Attica, Dimini, Antikythera and elsewhere. He also wrote a lot of archaeological studies, published in various papers and mainly in Archeologiki Efimeris, and many books.
During World War II the museum was closed and the antiquities were sealed in special protective boxes and buried, in order to avoid their destruction and looting. In 1945 exhibits were again displayed under the direction of Christos Karouzos. The south wing of the museum houses the Epigraphic Museum with the richest collection of inscriptions in the world. The inscriptions museum expanded between 1953 and 1960 with the architectural designs of Patroklos Karantinos.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Patroklos Karantinos was a notable Greek architect of early modernism in Greece.
The museum has an imposing neo-classical design which was very popular in Europe at the time and is in accordance with the classical style artifacts that it houses. The initial plan was conceived by the architect Ludwig Lange and it was later modified by Panagis Kalkos who was the main architect, Armodios Vlachos and Ernst Ziller. At the front of the museum there is a large neo-classic design garden which is decorated with sculptures.
Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century. In its purest form, it is a style principally derived from the architecture of classical antiquity, the Vitruvian principles, and the work of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio.
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for a classical period, classical antiquity in the Western tradition, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint and compression we are simply objecting to the classicism of classic art. A violent emphasis or a sudden acceleration of rhythmic movement would have destroyed those qualities of balance and completeness through which it retained until the present century its position of authority in the restricted repertoire of visual images." Classicism, as Clark noted, implies a canon of widely accepted ideal forms, whether in the Western canon that he was examining in The Nude (1956), or the literary Chinese classics or Chinese art, where the revival of classic styles is also a recurring feature.
Ludwig Lange was a German architect and landscape designer.
The building has undergone many expansions. Most important were the construction of a new east wing in the early 20th century based on the plans of Anastasios Metaxas and the construction of a two-storeyed building, designed by George Nomikos, during 1932–1939. years to complete, during which the museum remained completely closed. It reopened in July 2004, in time for the Athens Olympics and it included an aesthetic and technical upgrade of the building, installation of a modern air-conditioning system, reorganisation of the museum's collection and repair of the damage caused by the 1999 earthquake. The Minoan frescoes rooms opened to the public in 2005. On May 2008 the Culture Minister Mihalis Liapis inaugurated the much anticipated collection of Egyptian antiquities and the collection of Eleni and Antonis Stathatos. Today, there is a renewed discussion regarding the need to further expand the museum to adjacent areas. A new plan has been made for a subterranean expansion at the front of the museum.These expansions were necessary to accommodate the rapidly growing collection of artifacts. The most recent refurbishment of the museum took more than 1.5
The museum's collections are organised in sections:
| Prehistoric Collection|
(Neolithic, Cycladic, Mycenaean)
|3-6 and 48|
|Vase and Minor Objects Collection (Including Stathatos and Vlastos-Serpieris collections)||42 and 49-56|
|Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection||40-41|
|Epigraphical Museum||1, 9 & 11|
The prehistoric collection displays objects from the Neolithic era (6800–3000 BC), Early and Mid-Bronze age (3000–2000 BC and 2000 to 1700 BC respectively), objects classified as Cycladic and Mycenaean art.
There are ceramic finds from various important Neolithic sites such as Dimini and Sesclo from middle Helladic ceramics from Boeotia, Attica and Phthiotis. Some objects from Heinrich Schliemann excavations in Troy are also on display.
Cycladic collection features the famous marble figurines from the Aegean islands of Delos and Keros including the Lutist. These mysterious human representations, which resemble modern art and inspired many artists such as Henry Moore,came from the 3rd millennium BC old cemeteries of Aegean islands along with bronze tools and containers.
Mycenean civilization is represented by stone, bronze and ceramic pots, figurines, ivory, glass and faience objects, golden seals and rings from the vaulted tombs in Mycenae and other locations in the Peloponnese (Tiryns and Dendra in Argolis, Pylos in Messinia and Vaphio in Lakonia). Of great interest are the two golden cups from Vafeio showing a scene of the capture of a bull.
Mycenean collection includes also the magnificent 19th-century finds of Heinrich Schliemann in Mycenae from the Grave Circle A and the earlier Grave Circle B. Most notable are the golden funerary masks which covered the faces of deceased Mycenean nobles. Among them, the most famous is the one that was named erroneously as the mask of Agamemnon. There are also finds from the citadel of Mycenae including relief stelae, golden containers, glass, alabaster and amber tools and jewels. Other features include an ivory carving of two goddesses with a child, a painted limestone head of a goddess and the famous warrior's vase dating from the 12th century.
The Egyptian collection dates back to the last twenty years of the 19th century. Notable is the donation of the Egyptian government which in 1893 offered nine mummies of the era of the Pharaohs. However, the Egyptian collection is mainly by two donors, Ioannis Dimitriou (in 1880) and of Alexandros Rostovic (in 1904). In total the collection includes more than 6000 artifacts, 1100 of which are available presently for the public. The collection is considered to be one of the best collections of Egyptian art in the world. The exhibition features rare statues, tools, jewels, mummies, a wooden body tag for a mummy, a stunning bronze statue of a princess, intact bird eggs and a 3000-year-old loaf of bread with a bite-sized chunk missing. The exhibition centrepiece is a bronze statue of the princess-priestess Takushit, dating to around 670 BC. Standing 70 cm high and wearing a gown covered in hieroglyphs, the statue was found south of Alexandria in 1880.
The Stathatos collection is named for the donors and major Greek benefactors Antonis and Eleni Stathatos. The collection features about 1000 objects, mainly jewels as well as metal objects, vases, and pottery from the Middle Bronze Age to post-Byzantine era. Features of special note are the Hellenistic period golden jewels from Karpenissi and Thessaly.
Some of the ancient artists whose work is presented in the museum are Myron, Scopas, Euthymides, Lydos, Agoracritus, Agasias, Pan Painter, Wedding Painter, Meleager Painter, Cimon of Cleonae, Nessos Painter, Damophon, Aison (vase painter), Analatos Painter, Polygnotos (vase painter), Hermonax.
Collections include sculpture work, Loutrophoros, amphora, Hydria, Skyphos, Krater, Pelike, and lekythos vessels, Stele, frescoes, jewellery, weapons, tools, coins, toys and other ancient items.
Artifacts derive from archaeological excavations in Santorini, Mycenae, Tiryns, Dodona, Vaphio, Rhamnous, Lycosura, Aegean islands, Delos, the Temple of Aphaea in Aegina, the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia in Sparta, Pylos, Thebes, Athens, Vari Cave, the Antikythera wreck and from various other places in Greece.
The museum houses the archaic terracota statuette daidala that inspired the designers of the 2004 Athens Olympics maskots Athena and Phevos.
Two of the newest exhibits of the museum include a 4th-century BC golden funerary wreath and a 6th-century BC marble statue of a woman, which were returned as stolen artifacts to Greece in 2007 by the Getty Museum in California, after a 10-year-long legal dispute between the Getty Center and the Greek Government.One year earlier, the Los Angeles foundation agreed to return a 4th-century BC tombstone from near Greek Thebes and a 6th-century BC votive relief from the island of Thassos.
The museum houses a 118-year-old library of archeology with rare ancient art, science and philosophy books and publications. The library has some 20,000 volumes, including rare editions dating to the 17th century.The bibliography covers archaeology, history, arts, ancient religions and ancient Greek philosophy, as well as Ancient Greek and Latin literature. Of particular value are the diaries of various excavations including those of Heinrich Schliemann. The collection of archaeology books is the richest of its kind in Greece. The Library has been recently renovated with funds from the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation. Its renovation was completed on 26 May 2008 and is now named after Alexander Onassis.
The museum is accessible by the Athens metro. The nearest stations are Viktoria station and Omonia station. The museum houses a gift shop with artifact replicas and a café in the sculpture garden. The museum is fully wheelchair accessible. There are also facilities and guides for hearing-impaired visitors. For the latest activities of the museum, including the currently running periodic exhibition, visit the Official Museum's Blog: www.all4nam.com
Aegean civilization is a general term for the Bronze Age civilizations of Greece around the Aegean Sea. There are three distinct but communicating and interacting geographic regions covered by this term: Crete, the Cyclades and the Greek mainland. Crete is associated with the Minoan civilization from the Early Bronze Age. The Cyclades converge with the mainland during the Early Helladic ("Minyan") period and with Crete in the Middle Minoan period. From ca. 1450 BC, the Greek Mycenaean civilization spreads to Crete.
The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.
Ancient Greek pottery, due to its relative durability, comprises a large part of the archaeological record of ancient Greece, and since there is so much of it, it has exerted a disproportionately large influence on our understanding of Greek society. The shards of pots discarded or buried in the 1st millennium BC are still the best guide available to understand the customary life and mind of the ancient Greeks. There were several vessels produced locally for everyday and kitchen use, yet finer pottery from regions such as Attica was imported by other civilizations throughout the Mediterranean, such as the Etruscans in Italy. There were various specific regional varieties, such as the South Italian ancient Greek pottery.
Greek art began in the Cycladic and Minoan civilization, and gave birth to Western classical art in the subsequent Geometric, Archaic and Classical periods. It absorbed influences of Eastern civilizations, of Roman art and its patrons, and the new religion of Orthodox Christianity in the Byzantine era and absorbed Italian and European ideas during the period of Romanticism, until the Modernist and Postmodernist. Greek art is mainly five forms: architecture, sculpture, painting, pottery and jewelry making.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is a museum in Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia, Greece. It holds and interprets artifacts from the Prehistoric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods, mostly from the city of Thessaloniki but also from the region of Macedonia in general.
Ancient Greek sculpture is the sculpture of ancient Greece. Modern scholarship identifies three major stages in monumental sculpture. At all periods there were great numbers of Greek terracotta figurines and small sculptures in metal and other materials.
Aegean art, which effectively means Greek Bronze Age art, refers to art that was created in the Grecian lands surrounding, and the islands within, the Aegean Sea before the start of Ancient Greek art, which is normally dated around the 11th century BC. Included in the category Aegean art is Mycenaean art, with lavish metalwork in gold, imagery of combat and massively-constructed citadels and tombs, Cycladic art, famous for its simple "Venus" figurines carved in white marble, and the Minoan art of the Minoan civilization, which is famous for its palace complexes with frescos, imagery of bulls and bull-leaping, and sophisticated pottery. These are very differenrt arts, reflecting very different cultures. Taking all this into account, the term "Aegean Art" is thought of as contrived among many art historians because it includes the widely varying art of very different cultures that happened to be in the same area around the same period.
The Lion Gate was the main entrance of the Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae, southern Greece. It was erected during the 13th century BC, around 1250 BC in the northwest side of the acropolis and is named after the relief sculpture of two lionesses or lions in a heraldic pose that stands above the entrance.
The Staatliche Antikensammlungen is a museum in Munich's Kunstareal holding Bavaria's collections of antiquities from Greece, Etruria and Rome, though the sculpture collection is located in the opposite Glyptothek and works created in Bavaria are on display in a separate museum. Ancient Egypt also has its own museum.
Akrotiri is a Minoan Bronze Age settlement on the volcanic Greek island of Santorini (Thera). The name and the population are currently Greek. The civilization of the Bronze Age city, however, shows affinities to early Cretan civilization, which, going by its writing system, was undoubtedly not Greek. The Greeks arrived in Crete during the Mycenaean Period, later than Akrotiri. The date of their diffusion through the Cyclades remains a mystery, but there is nothing identifiably Greek at Akrotiri.
Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 9th and 2nd centuries BC. From around 600 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta, wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced.
The Antikensammlung Berlin is one of the most important collections of classical art in the world, now held in the Altes Museum and Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. It contains thousands of ancient archaeological artefacts from the ancient Greek, Roman, Etruscan and Cypriot civilizations. Its main attraction is the Pergamon Altar and Greek and Roman architectural elements from Priene, Magnesia, Baalbek and Falerii. In addition, the collection includes a large number of ancient sculptures, vases, terracottas, bronzes, sarcophagi, engraved gems and metalwork.
The Nicholas P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art is a museum of Athens. It houses a notable collection of artifacts of Cycladic art.
The National Archaeological Museum of Florence is an archaeological museum in Florence, Italy. It is located at 1 piazza Santissima Annunziata, in the Palazzo della Crocetta.
Dietrich Felix von Bothmer was a German-born American art historian, who spent six decades as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he developed into the world's leading specialist in the field of ancient Greek vases.
Grave Circle A is a 16th-century BC royal cemetery situated to the south of the Lion Gate, the main entrance of the Bronze Age citadel of Mycenae in southern Greece. This burial complex was initially constructed outside the fortification walls of Mycenae, but was ultimately enclosed in the acropolis when the fortifications were extended during the 13th century BC. Grave Circle A and Grave Circle B, the latter found outside the walls of Mycenae, represent one of the major characteristics of the early phase of the Mycenaean civilization.
The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, Croatia is an archaeological museum with over 450,000 varied artifacts and monuments, gathered from various sources but mostly from Croatia and in particular from the surroundings of Zagreb.
Ancient Greek art stands out among that of other ancient cultures for its development of naturalistic but idealized depictions of the human body, in which largely nude male figures were generally the focus of innovation. The rate of stylistic development between about 750 and 300 BC was remarkable by ancient standards, and in surviving works is best seen in sculpture. There were important innovations in painting, which have to be essentially reconstructed due to the lack of original survivals of quality, other than the distinct field of painted pottery.
Beth Cohen is an American classical archaeologist. She studied under German-American art historian Dietrich von Bothmer at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University where she received her doctorate on bilingual vase painting of Ancient Greece. Her dissertation, Attic Bilingual Vases and their Painters is the main book used in the study of bilingual vase painting. Cohen became a specialist in the field of Greek vase painting, especially on rare forms of Attic vase painting. She organized the 2006 exhibition The colors of clay. Special techniques in Athenian vases at J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu.
The conservation and restoration of Ancient Greek pottery is a sub-section of the broader topic of conservation and restoration of ceramic objects. Ancient Greek pottery is one of the most commonly found types of artifacts from the ancient Greek world. The information learned from vase paintings forms the foundation of modern knowledge of ancient Greek art and culture. Most ancient Greek pottery is terracotta, a type of earthenware ceramic, dating from the 11th century BCE through the 1st century CE. The objects are usually excavated from archaeological sites in broken pieces, or shards, and then reassembled. Some have been discovered intact in tombs. Professional conservator-restorers, often in collaboration with curators and conservation scientists, undertake the conservation-restoration of ancient Greek pottery.
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