Tuesday, 18 February 2014

National Archaeological Museum - Athens Day 3 - The Early Years

I apologise in advance for the large number of pictures in the following post. Actually I'm not sorry and I didn't even manage to get around the whole museum as I got sore and tired.
The museum is in a large, beautiful Neoclassical building, with an imposing entrance.
 Opposite are lots of apartments that are very typical of housing in Athens, though no building seems to be over 8 floors tall.
This post is the Neolithic pottery. I love the patterns and designs. I am toying with the idea of making a sampler using some of them.
 Clay jug with a bird on either side, Cycladic black and red style. From Phylakopi on Melos, 1600 BC.

Gold roundels with spirals in repoussé. The tiny holes around the edge were how they were sewn on to fabric, probably to decorate dresses & costumes.

Fragments of pictorial vessels (kraters, cups and jugs) with representations of bulls and fish.

Sorry the picture is a little blurry. Mycenaean gold jewellery from chamber tombs. Indicative of a prosperous society. Techniques include casting, filigree, granulation and cloisonné.

Three handled Palace style amphora with three large octopuses within a marinescape. A Mycenaean imitation of  the Minoan marine style. From the Mycenaean cemetery at Argive Prosymna. 15th century BC.

Terracotta bovine figures. Zoomorphic figures could be offerings in substitution of sacrificial animals, 14th - 13th Century BC 

Female figurines of the Spedos type of Naxos, with heads shaped like lyres. Standing on tip toes with bended knees, arms folded under their breasts, 2800 - 2300  BC

Jug with a running spiral, characteristic of Middle Minoan vases, 2000 - 1650 BC, Phylakopi, Melos.

 Pottery from Phylakopi, Melos from 2000 - 1650 BC. Phylakopi was an organised city and a commercial port in the Aegean. The pottery was made on wheels and the shapes are reminiscent of early metal prototypes. They retain many Cycladic features and stylistic influences from Minoa. Decorated with floral patterns, spirals, roundels, leaves and palmettes. Pottery was imported from mainland Greece, Crete and Cyprus during this time.

More pottery from Phylakopi showing Minoan influences with floral patterns (reeds), spirals and wavy bands. 

 Pottery from Neolithic settlements in Thessaly.

 Neolithic pottery from Thessaly, 6500 - 3300 BC.

 Spherical vase from the late Neolithic period 5300 - 4800 BC with polychrome painted decoration from Dimini in Magnesia, Thessaly. The perfectly round shape was modelled from fine brown clay and painted almost solely with curved lines. This must have been an outstanding vase in its own time and was found in the central building on the acropolis.

 Two rows of Neolithic female figurines. The top row are naked and holding their breasts with their hands. The row underneath are in various stages of pregnancy.


 Various pottery from Mycenae, from the 16th - 12th centuries BC.

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