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New artefacts from ancient Cretan cities on display in Athens

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Christian Fernsby |
Cretan cities
Europe   The exhibition outlines the life of three Cretan cities

Crete – Emerging Cities: Aptera, Eleutherna and Knossos is the latest exhibition presented at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens.

The exhibition outlines the life of three Cretan cities, Aptera, Eleutherna, and Knossos, from their founding and development, to their abandonment and rediscovery, through recent archaeological investigation and excavation.

Approximately 500 artefacts dating from the Neolithic (7th-6th millennium BC) to the Byzantine period (8th century AD), some newly discovered, others from old excavations, most of them never presented to the public before: statues, reliefs, figurines, inscriptions, vases, weapons, jewellery, coins, and other artefacts of various materials—limestone, marble, clay, metal (bronze, iron, silver, and gold), faience, glass, ivory, and semi-precious stones.

This is the first time that so many artefacts leave the storerooms of the Antiquities Ephorates and display cases of the museums of Crete for this temporary exhibition in Athens.

Antiquities from each one of the three cities speak of its territory, public and private life, religious beliefs, sanctuaries, and cemeteries, fragments of its historical continuum.

A special place is given to artefacts relating to each city’s founding myths and also to personal stories: Soterios from Eleutherna who live and died at Aptera, the young man of Eleutherna who died before knowing love, and the child buried with their toys at Knossos.

The exhibition also showcases Renaissance books and maps, including the Vincenzo Maria Coronelli’s map of Crete (1707) with its famous fruit garland inscribed with the names of the 100 Cretan cities mentioned by Homer, including Aptera, Eleutherna and Knossos.

This rare presentation concludes with a surprise: two bull’s heads hovering over the sea that surrounds Crete, one Minoan, the other by Picasso.

Where: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens
When: On now until 30 April 2019
Price 7 euros, reduced to 3.50 euros on Mondays

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