New permanent exhibition at Volos Archaeological Museum
The evolution of the Thessaly town of Volos, on the coast of the Pagasitic Gulf, from the Mycenaean era to the Roman era, is presented in a new permanent exhibition inaugurated in the new wing of the Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The Museum was built in 1909 with a donation by Alexis Athanassakis from the Pelion village of Portaria. The initial purpose of the neoclassical building was to house the remarkable Hellenistic Period Demetrias painted steles that were unearthed in digs under Apostolos Arvanitopoulos, the first Thessaly Ephor of Antiquities.
The Museum then added antiquities from all over Thessaly to its collection.
The Museum houses many exquisite finds from the early 20th century and modern-day archaeological excavations in Thessaly, including jewelry, household utensils and agricultural tools from the Neolithic settlements of Dimini and Sesklo, clay statuettes and a variety of artifacts from the Geometric period, figurines, statues and rare jointed statuettes from the Classical era, rare steles and relief work from the Hellenist period in which the color is uncommonly well-preserved, relief work from the Early Christian and Byzantine periods, and tombs transported in their entirety from the archaeological sites where they were discovered, including human skeletons and offerings placed around it.
Just outside the museum are some interesting reconstructions of the Neolithic houses at Dimini and Sesklo, where the remains of the oldest acropolis in Greece (6000 BC) stand.
The Museum has further launched an educational program for primary school pupils on the theme “Neolithic culture: Once upon a time in Sesklo and Dimini”.
Periodical exhibitions are exhibited in the Museum’s two main halls, while the Angelos Bastis collection of Neolithic artifacts from all over Thessaly, which has been donated to the Museum, is also on display. There is also an exhibition of the Museum’s new acquisitions from recent excavations in the regions of Magnesia and Karditsa.
The new permanent exhibition focuses on artifacts from the ancient cities of Iolcos (home of the mythological hero Jason, who sailed with the Argonauts to Colchis in quest of the Golden Fleece on the ship Argo), Feres (Pagasae) and Demetrias (established by Demetrios Poliorcetes, King of Macedonia).
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