Sites Visited: Benaki Museum and National Archaeological Museum
Leaders: Tim and Grace
Today was our first day back in Athens after an idyllic week on Crete, but things kicked off with a bang at the Benaki Museum, an extraordinary private collection of material spanning from Neolithic to modern art. This museum had some incredibly impressive highlights, from beautiful Neolithic pottery to a stunning stone cameo from the Roman period to some incredibly ostentatious swords and pistols adorned with gold and coral from the Greek war for independence in the 19th century. This museum was easily one of the best we’ve visited on the FSP so far.
In the afternoon we returned to the National Archaeological Museum, this time with Professor Hruby as our guide. She gave us an extensive and enthusiastic tour of the museum’s Neolithic and Bronze Age material and pointed out several of her favorite items in its collection, including some hedgehog–shaped pottery and a huge assortment of tablets covered in Linear B, a type of syllabary script used on Crete and found in a few deposits on the mainland during the Bronze Age. We also stopped by the famous gold mask of Agamemnon, which of course has nothing to do with Agamemnon but was beautiful all the same.
Tomorrow is our first day of vacation! We’re sad to split up for a week, but everyone seems ready to take a short break from archaeology.
Grace and Tim