Thesprotia, one of the most mountainous and isolated Prefectures in the north-western end of Greece, is abundant with archaeological monuments and findings dating from the Palaeolithic to the Byzantine period. The new evidence derived from the archaeological research of the last decades along with older findings were used as the material to create the exhibition of the new Archaeological Museum.

The building accommodating the exhibition was constructed in the frame of the 2nd and 3rd Community Support Frameworks. It is organised architecturally in three levels, ensuring also the access for people with disabilities. It is partly covered with a space frame, that allows plentiful natural light in the central room of the ground floor exhibition. The covered ?atrium? constitutes the main axis, around which the rooms of the exhibition are being organised, offering to the visitor a constant view to the greater part of the exhibition (Halls II, III, IV) and principally to the central hall (Hall I). Moreover, there is a video projection room, a multipurpose room and a museum cafe? The function of the multipurpose room on the ground floor is complementary to the permanent exhibition, since, apart from educational programs, it will also host periodic exhibitions and other events.

The project entitled ?Exhibition of the Igoumenitsa Archaeological Museum, Thesprotia? was included in the 3rd CSF in 2003 and was completed on 30.06.2009. Chronologically, the exhibits cover all archaeological periods from the Middle Palaiolithic (100.000 BC) to the Post Byzantine period (17th cent. AD.). They represent a variety of categories, such as metalwork, stonework, architecture, sculpture, pottery, coinage, jewellery, miniature art, glass industry, organic residues etc. They derive from rescue excavations carried out in the entire prefecture of Thesprotia and constitute the material witnesses of various expressions of human life throughout all historical periods.

The museological program of the Igoumenitsa Archaeological Museum is divided into five main exhibition units:

Archaeological ~ Historical retrospect

Settlements of Historical Times

Public Life

Private Life

Burial customs

The exhibits in the museum showcases come to life with the help of rich documentation material, i.e. informative (texts, annotation), supervisory (charts, drawings, pictures, diagrams) and three-dimensional (representations of objects and their operation, models of ancient settlements), while there have also been efforts to recreate certain house areas (house interior, andron, bath). The use of new technologies (video, touch screens etc) also help in the comprehension of the exhibits and the exhibition program.

The operation aim of the Igoumenitsa Archaeological Museum is to prompt the visitor to discover and to know in-depth the rich archaeological past of Thesprotia. The permanent exhibition, the video projection and multipurpose rooms and the organised educational programs offer a multidimensional approach, consistent with the requirements of modern museological practices.

An additional aim of the Igoumenitsa Archaeological Museum is to become an active regional unit of cultural events, by organising periodic exhibitions, publications, lectures and scientific meetings, fully integrated in the social life of this borderline Prefecture.
Georgios Riginos, Archaeologist - Dep. Director
Ourania Palli, Archaeologist