The Archaeological Museum of Piraeus
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Holders of a valid unemployment card. Members of Societies and Associations of Friends of Museums and Archaeological Sites, upon presentation of their certified membership card. Young people, up to the age of 18, upon presentation of their Identity Card or passport for age confirmation. There is an access ramp at the entrance of the museum, elevator, parking, WC. The access is possible through many city bus lines that start from either Athens or the Piraeus Metro station. There is also a tourist mini-train stop outside of the museum.
The shop is located at the entrance of the museum. See also. Acropolis Museum. Archaeological Collection in the Athens International Airport. Archaeological Museum of Brauron. These marvels were discovered during public works on the Piraeus sewers in They had probably been stored for temporary safe-keeping in 87 BCE during the siege by the Roman general Sulla and were buried in the cellar of a building which was then destroyed by fire.
Considering that there are only 35 or so surviving full-figure bronze statues from any ancient civilization, to have four in one room is something of a luxury. The earliest bronze statue is of a youthful Apollo which stands 1.
Apart from its impressive poise it also has the distinction of being the only surviving example of a bronze kouros, the nude male figure so popular amongst early Greek sculptors. In the next room are the bronze statues of Athena and Artemis , along with the bronze theatre mask, each given plenty of breathing space with no other distractions and no glass to get between the visitor and 2, years of history.
The Athena Parthenos is the largest, standing at 2. The rest of the top floor is dedicated to votive relief plaques and grave stelai, some of them quite moving in their depiction of grieving relatives saying a fond farewell to their loved one. The first rooms on this level continue the evolution of grave stelai which began upstairs in the 5th century BCE. With deeper and deeper carving and more and more extravagant sculptures the stelai reach into the late 4th century BCE.
The most impressive sight here is perhaps the Monument of Kallithea which fills room 8. A few bits and pieces of Hellenistic sculpture from the period when Piraeus was under Macedonian rule take the visitor to the Roman collection. This includes some handsome marble copies of earlier Greek sculpture and the ubiquitous busts of Roman emperors, notably an expressionless Hadrian and a stocky-looking Balbinus.
Perhaps most striking are the Neo-Attic decorative slabs depicting Amazons. One slab in particular, has a male tugging back the hair of a female warrior in full escape mode. The sculpture looks like a very un-P. Another impressive slab has Hercules struggling with Apollo for possession of the Delphic tripod. These weather-worn chunks of columns and statue bases seem only to be awaiting the arrival of a skip to finally put them out of their misery. We chatted about the marvels of the musuem and, with that North American habit of reeling off every place they had ever visited in their lives, I discovered they were continuing on their world tour by taking a cruise ship that afternoon.
The finds from the "tomb of the poet" at Dafne right. A sekomata used to measure standard quantities of liquids; from the agora of Piraeus left. A 4th century BC wooden coffin from Aigaleo right.
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Room 2 is dedicated to pottery from the Mycenean to Hellenistic years and other everyday life objects. Room 6 is dedicated to votive relief plaques and grave stelai , some of them quite moving in their depiction of grieving relatives saying a fond farewell to their loved one. Funerary stelai. Funerary stele of two young hoplites, Chairedemos and Lykeas, who presumably died in the Peloponnesian war; circa BC left.
Funerary stele of Hippomachos and kallias. The young Hippomachos, standing, bids farewell to the old Kallas, his father perhaps, who is seated; early 4th century BC right. Funerary relief depicting a young woman the dead holding a necklace originally painted in ; on the right her maid; second quarter of the 4th century BC left. Funerary stele of a young woman, Nikeso, holding a bird; BC right. Statue, perhaps funerary, of a young athlete; c. Funerary stele depicting a young warrior offering his right hand in farewell to an old man; the names Smikros, Smikros Akosio appear engraved on the architrave; the two men are probably grandfather and grandson; early 4th century BC middle.
THe upper part of the stele, with palmette, of Diogenes son of Apollonides, from Pyrrha on Lesbos; The delicate workmanship of the palmette stands out thanks to the good state of preservation of the paint, especially the blue background of the stele; first half of the 4th c. BC; from Kastraki Drapetsonas right. In room 5 there is a reconstruction of a typical Classical sanctuary, in the center of which lies the nave with the worshipful statue of Cybele , found in Moschato.
The statue is framed by a series of votive reliefs. Typical Classical sanctuary, in the center of which lies the nave with the worshipful statue of Cybele, found in Moschato. Votive reliefs in room 5. Votive relief for Hercules; 4th c. BC left.
Votive relief for a hero; 4th c. BC middle. Votive relief of the so-called Banqueting Hero type; BC right. Statuate of Artemis Kindyas; The column-like of this eastern goddess is emphasised by the pose of the arms wrapped uo in the belted himation; 1st c. BC top right. The star pieces of the museum come in rooms 3 and 4 : these are a stunning collection of four bronze statues with an added bonus of a large bronze mask inspired by Greek tragedy during my visit the mask had been transferred to Seoul for a temporary Exhibition, so I did not see it.
These masterpieces were discovered during public works on the Piraeus sewers in They had probably been stored for temporary safe-keeping in 87 BC during the siege by the Roman general Sulla and were buried in the cellar of a building which was then destroyed by fire. Considering that there are less than 40 surviving full-figure bronze statues from any ancient civilization, to have four in one room is something of a luxury.
Bronze statues had the ill fate to be melted, especially during war periods, and their metal to be reused for other purposes or even for the casting of newer statues at a later stage. The earliest bronze statue and the most beautiful of them all is of a youthful naked Apollo in the form of a kouros, typical male statues of the Archaic period which stands 1.
Archaeological Museum of Piraeus
The Piraeus Apollo is a product of the late archaic period, in which the Greek sculpture attained a full knowledge of human anatomy and used to create an harmonious whole. It is among the very few such bronzes that have survived. The statue seems to differentiate from the previous formality and represents a kind of motion. The symmetry and the analogies of the members are closer to the post-archaic sculpture which gives more emphasis not to the illusive reality but to the analogy and the interaction of each member with the others in the whole.
In the adjacent room room 4 are the bronze statues of Athena and Artemis, along with the bronze theatre mask possibly in honor of Dionysus , each given plenty of breathing space with no other distractions and no glass to get between the visitor and 2, years of history.
The oversized Athena known as Piraeus Athena stands at 2. It is identified as a cult statue and her Corinthian helmet with extravagant crest only adds to the overall majesty of this striking sculpture. Athena is wearing a peplos a dress made of one piece of uncut fabric that drapes around the body, falling in folds that is open on the right side.
The cloth of the peplos appears heavy, as evidenced from the deep cloth lines in the sculpture. Athena is shown to have an aegis diagonally across her peplos in the sculpture. The aegis has a miniature Gorgon's head on it along with a border of snakes. Its small dimensions make it to be more like a marker of Athena's identity than an actual piece of armament.
There is a hole in the palm of the right hand and the right thumb indicating that Athena was originally holding an item, but that item's identity it is not certain. Some suggest it might have been an owl or the representation of victory, Nike.
Piraeus Archaeological Museum | The Official Athens Guide
It is also thought that Athena may have held in her left hand a spear or a shield. Athena additionally wears a helmet, which also helps to date the statue. This is because Athena wears a Corinthian helmet, which in fourth century B. C became very popular, as opposed to an Attic helmet where she is shown wearing in other sculptures. The helmet in the Piraeus Athena has griffins on each side of the crest, and two owls on the visor. There are two statues of Artemis in the room, facing each other.
Piraeus Artemis A , at a height of 1. A quiver strap runs diagonally over the figure's right shoulder and under her left arm. Her hand still contains a lump of clay that was used to anchor her bow. There are also two small, bronze remnants of a phiale offering bowl that she would have held in her upturned right hand. This stance is in fact one of the stances in which Artemis and Apollo were often portrayed in Greek art.
The goddess wears a peplos that folds at the shoulders, hanging doubled over to her hips and held down by round drapery weights. Most of her left foot and sandal is exposed due to her stance, while only her toes are shown on the right foot. However, the sandal straps have disappeared, as they were cast separately from the rest of the shoe.
The statue's features are extremely elaborate as well, and separately cast from the rest of the bronze statue.