A DAY AT THE NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
The National Archaeological Museum is one of the most important museums in the world. It is situated in a majestic neoclassical building designed by L. Lange and remodelled by E. Ziller at the end of the 19th century. The exhibits cover a large chronological and geographical span offering samples from many different periods and areas of Greece. When the visitor enters the museum he is faced with three different doors. Straight in front of him is the room with the Prehistoric Collection, divided into three rooms. On the right, there is the room dedicated to the Cycladic Civilisation (circa 2.800 B.C). Vases and everyday objects that were discovered mostly in cemeteries of various islands are displayed here. The Cycladic figurines can also be seen in this room. Here are some of the oldest figurines, including the famous harp player and flute player. The left room is devoted to the findings of the Neolithic settlements (circa 5.300 B.C.), such as vases and everyday objects and some very early and abstract figurines. The room in the centre contains objects from the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisation (circa 2.000 B.C.). The visitor can admire the golden jewellery, the ornate swords and a golden funerary masks.
Back at the entrance of the museum the visitor may opt for the left door. Here he will find the Sculptural Collection which follows a circular route and presents the development of sculptures in ancient Greece. The Sculptural Collection ends at the right side of the entrance bringing the visitor back to where he started. In the first room on the right the beginning of monumental sculpture in Greece is shown. Daedalic sculptures heavily influenced by the sculptures of Ancient Egypt are shown here. The next rooms display Kouroi and Korae, the male and female type of this Archaic sculpture. The development is obvious through a variety of sculptures. The Bronze Collection has the famous bronze statue of Poseidon or Zeus. Many rooms contain relieves from the tombstones of Athens ancient graveyard, demonstrating the development in the technique of the relief. Further along the visitor will find a copy of Pheidias Athena, and statues of the other famous classical sculptor Polykleitos. The last rooms of this tour, contains sculptures of the Roman period. The visitor can admire some very realistic portraits of Roman Emperors.