Greek Treasures at the Heraklion Archeological Museum
Those traveling like Indiana Jones in search of archeological treasures will find an abundance of fantastic historical sites in Greece.
If you visit the island of Crete, you must see the ruins of the Knossos Palace, the center of the Minoan civilization.
However, many of the original artifacts related to the Minoans are no longer there, but in the Heraklion Archeological Museum. And to be honest with you, I consider this place a hidden treasure since most visitors skip it to go shopping. Sad but true.
Why this museum is worth a visit
This museum contains a great collection of artifacts from the Minoan civilization including pottery, jewelry, tools and weapons, frescoes, clay figurines, and art, including some valuable objects from the Neolithic and Greco-Roman periods.
Some artifacts go all the way back to 6,000 BCE!
It won’t be long before you notice that most objects in the museum’s collection are very well preserved.
For example, the level of detail in the gold jewelry is simply incredible, especially since some of these ornaments are thousands of years old. I dare a present-day jeweler to design a golden necklace like the Minoans using only the tools they had back then!
One of the most valuable objects of the museum’s collection is the Phaistos Disc (photo), a disk of clay about 4,000 years old.
The strangest thing about this disk is that both of its sides are covered with a spiral of codes and no one has been able to decipher the symbols, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archeology!
Another very well preserved object is the Hagia Triada sarcophagus. From the late Bronze Age, it has both Minoan and Mycenaean artistic styles and provides valuable information on the importance of burial ceremonies for this civilization.
A favorite piece among the visitors is the Minoan “Snake Goddess” (see picture).
This particular figurine depicts a “goddess of fertility”; this is mainly because of her large breasts and the fact that she is holding two snakes. Snakes are associated to the renewal of life since they shed their skin from time to time.
I can go on and on about the impressive collection of archeological treasures that you can find here but trust me, if you are going to Greece and one of your stops is Crete, make sure you visit the Heraklion Archeological Museum.
My recommendation: be prepared (and delighted) to absorb a wealth of valuable historical information. You won’t be disappointed.