Archaeological Museum of Thebes

The need for a modern museum, worthy of the century-long history of Boeotia, led to the radical reconstruction and expansion of the old building, along with the full-scale renewal of its exhibits with objects coming mainly from recent excavations. The new Archaeological Museum of Thebes occupies an exhibition area of 1.000m2 and houses a multitude of artefacts, representing millennia of continuous human activity in Boeotia. The exhibition halls spread over two different levels, a choice dictated by the necessity to maintain the natural formation on the western slopes of the Kadmeia hill. 

The exhibition is arranged in a total of eighteen sections, eleven of which follow a basic chronological order from the Paleolithic period down to the end of the Ottoman rule ; in this way, they illustrate over time culture, everyday life, political and social evolution in Boeotia. The first Neolithic settlement cores were replaced by the technologically advanced settlements of the Bronze Age, the end of which witnessed the prosperity of the Mycenaean palatial centers of Thebes and Orchomenos. 
There followed a period of introversion and transformation (Protogeometric and Geometric times, , which led to the Archaic period and the creation of the Boeotian Confederacy. The Classical times marked the time of Theban domination, while the incessant military conflicts of the Hellenistic period impoverished the area, and gradually led to its marginalization (Roman period,). Prosperity returned during the Early Byzantine  and ?later on- the Middle Byzantine times , when Thebes was the designated capital of the "Theme of Hellas". During the Late Byzantine period the area passed under Western overlords, and formed part of the Duchy of Athens with its seat in Thebes. The journey into the past is concluded with the period of Ottoman rule in Boeotia ending with the foundation of the modern Greece State (1830)
Particular sections relate the history of the Archaeological Museum of Thebes and the early archaeological research in the region (lobby-reception), the myths associated with Boeotia and the cultural radiation of Boeotia from antiquity to modern times, with a special reference to the tragedies of the Theban mythological cycle . The gallery functions also as a short circuit for the visitor with limited time; furthermore, it leads to the covered archaeological site at the foundations of the Museum. The site preserves part of a dwelling from the third millennium, tombs of the 17th century BC, and the foundation of the Mycenaean wall of the Kadmeia (13th century BC). These monuments are partly visible in the exhibition hall of the Archaic perio. A showcase at the gallery accommodates a tactile and educational collection, including selected antiquities. Specialized programs for school groups take place at the area of educational programs. 
The visit is supplemented with a tour of the court where stone monuments are exhibited, such as funerary stelai, inscriptions, statue bases and funerary lions, and concluded by a visit to the medieval tower. The exhibition was designed to be accessible to disabled visitors and cover the aspirations of a versatile public with diverse demands. The visitor has the opportunity to navigate through time in the centuries-old history of Boeotia by way of singular finds, digital applications, reconstructions, but also by way of the monuments themselves, such as the tower and the structures at the foundations of the building.

A small collection of artefacts grew out of the very fruitful archaeological research in Boiotia at the beginning of the twentieth century. Antonios Keramopoullos founded the Archaeological Museum in 1905.
It was housed in a two-storey building, which was specially built on the projection at the north end of the historic acropolis of the Kadmeion. Apart from the sculptures of Thespiai and Ptoo and other surface finds from Boiotia, the museum displayed the finds from Keramopoullos' investigations in the palace of Kadmos, those from the Polyandrion at Thespiai, and many more from the Mycenaean and Classical cemeteries of Thebes, Tanagra and Ritsona, and from the prehistoric settlement of Eutresis. 
The old replete museum was replaced by a new one built on the same location. This new museum, the life's work of the then Ephor of Antiquities, I. Threpsiadis, was inaugurated in 1962 and housed many new finds, particularly those from the sanctuary of Artemis at Aulis. During the 1960's the collection was enriched by finds from the important excavations at the Kadmeion, by several representative objects from the German excavations at Kabireion and from the excavations at Thebes, Orchomenos and Tanagra, which were conducted by the Ninth Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. During this same decade the museum's garden was used for the first time to display antiquities, while the finds from the Mycenaean cemetery at Tanagra were exhibited in a special room which opened to the public in 1972. 
The spectacular archaeological discoveries in the centre of the Kadmeion on the Mycenaean and Classical acropolis of Thebes, the extensive cemeteries of Akraiphnion, the many rescue excavations and random finds in settlements, cemeteries and sanctuaries in Boiotia and in the Larymna region, increased the number of finds and made the construction of a new museum building at the west of the promontory necessary. At the same time a much-needed parking area was created east of Keramopoullos Square and the Medieval tower.

The permanent exhibition of the Thebes Archaeological Museum comprises characteristic finds from Greek and foreign excavations conducted in Boiotia, which span the long chronological period from the Paleolithic to the Post-byzantine periods. Some of its collections are especially interesting because they are unique; for example the Near Eastern Bronze Age cylinder seals from the Theban palace in the Kadmeion, the Mycenaean larnakes from Tanagra, the Archa?c kouroi from Ptoon and the characteristic black stone Classical funerary stelai. 

The exhibition, which occupies four large rooms, the lobby and the museum's garden, is organized by time period and by artefact type. Four new rooms, currently under construction, will house finds from recent excavations, while the Byzantine antiquities of Boiotia will be displayed separately.


«Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού και Αθλητισμού - Εφορεία Αρχαιοτήτων Βοιωτίας». www.yppo.gr. Ανακτήθηκε στις 2016-06-19.
Αραβαντινός, Βασίλειος (2010). Το Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Θηβών. Αθήνα: Ολκός / Latsis Foundation, σελ. 18. ISBN 978-960-89339-7-2.
Βασίλειος Αραβαντινός, Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Θηβών
Μόνιμη έκθεση Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Θηβών
«Ενα μουσείο γεμάτο... μύθους, Της Γιώτας Συκκά | Kathimerini». www.kathimerini.gr. Ανακτήθηκε στις 2016-06-19.
Interactive, Pegasus. «Ολη η ιστορία της αρχαίας Θήβας σε 1.000 τ.μ.». ethnos.gr. Ανακτήθηκε στις 2016-06-19.
«tovima.gr - Στην τελική ευθεία το Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Θήβας». TO BHMA. Ανακτήθηκε στις 2016-06-21.
«Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Θηβών: Η αρχαία Θήβα παρουσιάζεται σε 1.000 τ.μ.» (στα el-GR). naftemporiki.gr. Ανακτήθηκε στις 2016-06-19.
«Εγκαίνια του Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Θηβών». http://www.culturenow.gr. Ανακτήθηκε στις 2016-06-21.
Από τον κατάλογο: «Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Θηβών», 74: «Οι ταφικές στήλες πολεμιστών σε μαύρη πέτρα είναι από τις περισσότερο γνωστές και πλέον σημαντικές του Μουσείου. Ο αρχαιολόγος Κεραμόπουλος θεωρούσε πως κάποιες από τις στήλες αναπαριστούν πολεμιστές που έπεσαν στην μάχη του Δηλίου (424 Π.Κ.Ε) μεταξύ των Βοιωτών και των Αθηναίων».
ΥπΕξ: Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Θηβών

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