| Description | | Exhibits |

Permanent exhibition of the archaeological museum of Kythera

The new archaeological display is a journey through time starting from the 9th millennium B.C. and ending in the 3rd century A.D. with an accompanying narration that evolves over the three basic pillars of human existence, namely survival within a specific place, religious practices and death. The aim of the exhibition is to present Kythera's cultural heritage and history within its wider historical context in the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean.

The exhibition displays a total of 665 ancient objects. Whether humble or elaborate sanctuary offerings, objects of everyday use, or grave goods of a more sophisticated and rare character, they reflect the multitude of influences on the island over time. The island’s identity as a gateway to the Greek archipelago, as a passage and supply station for Mediterranean travelers, as a bridge between Crete, the Peloponnese and the Cyclades, as a strategic position, pirate base and also a place of pilgrimage - all these are revealed in the variety of archaeological finds. Of particular importance are the stone tools comprising the earliest traces of human habitation on the island from the 9th - 8th millennium B.C., the pottery and tools from the Minoan settlement at Kastri, the ceramic grave goods from the Minoan cemetery of Palaiopolis and the various offerings from the Minoan peak sanctuary at Agios Georgios sto Vouno, especially the multitude of bronze Minoan figurines that up until now constitute the largest collection found in an unlooted Minoan sanctuary. Also, significant are the various offerings from the sanctuary of Athena at Palaiokastro Mountain, dated from the Geometric to the Hellenistic period. In particular, the Geometric bronze jewels and the bronze statuette of Athena dated at 500-450 B.C. are of great importance. The visitors can also see the hoard of Hellenistic coins from Antidragonera and the Archaic marble lion of Kythera.

The exhibition finishes with a brief thematic exhibit on the history of Antikythera. Ancient artifacts from various sites on the island and the Kastro, dated from the Neolithic to the Hellenistic period, are displayed.

The structure of the narration is best supported by the austere architectural design of the exhibition. The selection of the colour blue in conjunction with the designs of ships for each period that decorate the outside of the display cases accentuates the sense of a journey while the large crystal surfaces and the suspension of objects in clear acrylic sheets along with the scenographic rendering of depth within the display cases help transport mentally the visitor to the place where the artifacts on show have been found. The exhibition features plenty visual materials, explanatory texts, captions and illustrations along with reconstructions of the surviving fragmentary objects so that their form and use can be better understood.

The exhibition is also enhanced by the use of multimedia. In the introductory unit a 10-minute documentary film of Kythera's archaeological sites enables visitors to access sites that in many instances are difficult to visit. Another 10-minute mixed media documentary shown in the room next to the Archaic marble lion of Kythera recounts the adventures of this emblematic sculpture, starting from the 19th century when it was located on the ramparts of the castle in Chora until its placement in the current exhibition.

Also, in the introductory unit, touch screen technology gives the visitor the opportunity to embark on a different journey through the archaeology of Kythera, a journey navigated via mythology, poetry, art and stories of foreign travellers from the Renaissance to the 19th century. Stops along this journey include various museums in Greece and Europe where ancient artifacts from Kythera and Antikythera are displayed.

For the children and their families a “Guide of the Exhibition” is provided along with the book “I am the Lion of Kythera and I have a story to tell…” while for school groups four thematic educational packages focusing on textile making, religion, daily life and the excavation of an archaeological trench are provided.

For visually impaired people a guide to the exhibition is available as well as a short book on the History of Kythera and Antikythera written in Greek and English Braille code. There are twelve stations across the exhibition either with copies of ancient artifacts or original sculptures which are suitable for tactile recognition.
Other Photographs of the exhibition