| Description | | Exhibits |

The Neolithic Collection

Gallery 5. Reconstruction of a Neolithic Household
The Neolithic Collection, which forms part of the Collection of Prehistoric Antiquities, comprises the earliest exhibits in the museum. These come from settlements and cemeteries of mainland Greece and the Aegean islands and date to the Neolithic period and the Early and Middle Bronze Age, that is the pre-Mycenean periods. They include clay and stone vessels, figurines and tools which date from c. 6800 BC to c. 1600 BC, as well as some very important hoards of precious objects from the north-east Aegean.

The display, which occupies one large room (Room 5) on the museum's ground floor, is set out in chronological order beginning with the Neolithic period and ending in the Middle Bronze Age. It highlights the important centres for each period, the typological development of various classes of objects and decorative techniques, technological change, and provides information on the activities of daily life. Explanatory texts and diagrams complete the exhibition.
Alexandra Christopoulou, archaeologist

Exhibition Units
- The Neolithic period
Finds from the Neolithic settlements of Thessaly and other Greek sites constitute this unit. During the Neolithic period humans practiced agriculture and animal husbandry, and established permanent settlements. Their objects of daily use, which are exhibited here, include vases, vessels, figurines, jewelry, tools and weapons, made of clay, stone or bone, which date from 6800 BC to 3300 BC. Wherever possible these artefacts are displayed in chronological order so as to make technological developments clear to the visitor. For example, the introduction of the potter's wheel and the development of metal-working techniques are presented through relevant exhibits and related documents. Of particular importance are the ceramic vases with decorative techniques which characterize specific areas or chronological periods, and clay figurines, both female and ithyphallic male, such as the so-called 'Thinker'. The transition from the Neolithic period to the Bronze Age is illustrated by a series of bronze axes.
- Early and Middle Bronze Age
This unit comprises finds from settlements and cemeteries of the Early and Middle Bronze Age. The Early Bronze Age (3200-1900 BC) is represented mainly by the famous hoards of Poliochni in Lemnos and Troy, which contained gold and bronze objects characteristic of the north-eastern Aegean cultures, and the gold and silver grave gifts from the Early Helladic tumulus of Leukada. Excavated finds from various locations in Attica and the finds from Orchomenos in Boiotia, a large production centre of amaurochromi/black-glazed and Minyan ware pottery take the visitor into the Middle Bronze Age (1900-1600 BC). The grave gifts from the Middle Helladic graves of Sesklo and Dimini form the largest group for this period. These contained several metal objects, including a bronze spear-head of the 'Sesklo type', one of the rare Greek examples.