| Description | | Exhibits |

The Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection

Part of the statue of a Pharaoh
The Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection is unique in Greece, and is one of the most impressive collections of its kind in the world because of the rarity and importance of the exhibits, the finest of which have been on display since 1994. These come mainly from two large donations by Greek expatriates in Egypt: the 1880-1885 donations of Ioannis Dimitriou from Lemnos, who lived in Alexandria, and the 1904 donation by Alexandros Rostovitch from Cairo.

The selection and presentation of the exhibits was largely the work of the late Perikles Kourachanis, the collection's curator. His aim was to show the development of Egyptian civilization, primarily during the Pre-dynastic and Pharaonic periods, and to stress the funerary customs of the Late period (twenty-fifth - thirtienth Dynasties), a period characterized by the wealth and elaboration of burial practices. The display covers the whole spectrum of Egyptian civilization from prehistory (c. 5000 BC) to the Roman conquest (30 BC-AD 354), with and emphasis on the Pre-dynastic and Pharaonic periods (5000-332 BC).

The exhibits cover all aspects of artistic expression. They include statues, figurines, reliefs, votive and funerary stelai, mummy covers, mummies, ceramic, stone and fa?ence vessels, Canopic jars, jewelry, Fayoum portraits, numerous minor objects, and other artefacts of public and private use illustrating daily life in ancient Egypt.

The display occupies two rooms on the museum's ground floor (Rooms 40-41) and follows a chronological order. A map of Egypt and a series of explanatory texts on this brilliant ancient civilization complete the display.
Eleni Tourna, archaeologist

Exhibition Units
- Pre-dynastic period
This unit, which covers the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods (5000-3100 BC), contains mostly stone artefacts, such as tools and weapons, including a head-basher, vases and cosmetics containers. There is also ivory jewelry, and ceramic vases.
- Early Dynastic period
This unit contains objects dating to the first two Egyptian Dynasties (3100-2650 BC). This period is characterized by the establishment of pharaonic power and the appearance of writing. The display is dominated by the stone statues of pharaohs, civilians and sacred animals, such as the impressive black granite hippopotamus statue. Stone vases and vessels, and ivory artefacts complete the display.
- Old Kingdom
These exhibits cover the second half of the third millennium BC, a period of powerful pharaohs who led Egypt in a great floruit. The display presents sculptural development and is dominated by impressive funerary statues of pharaohs, men and women, scribes and servants.
- Middle Kingdom
The display presents a selection of objects dating to 2134-1650 BC, a period of great wealth and artistic refinement. The exhibits include votive statues of civilians, funerary stelai with relief decoration, and grave gifts such as scarabs, small wooden figurines and ship models.
- New Kingdom
The golden age in ancient Egyptian history, which covers the second half of the second millennium BC, is represented here by several impressive statues, alabaster vases, sarcophagi, funerary stelai, mummified animals and part of a statue of the great Pharaoh Ramses II.
- Late Period
These exhibits, which cover the period from the eighth to the fourth centuries BC, although fewer in number are nevertheless rare or even unique. They include bronze statues and statuettes, mostly of kings, and grave gifts.
- Greco-Roman period
This unit covers the Ptolema?c period and the Roman conquest of Egypt (fourth century BC-AD 395). The exhibits include sarcophagi, mummies, the statue of Isis from the temple at Marathon in Attica, and three remarkable Fayoum death-portraits.

Winter: From the 1st of November until the 31 of March 2010: