Volos Archaeological Museum
Perhaps you have never heard of the Athanassakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos. Well, it’s not famous. It is not even well known. Nevertheless, it houses an impressive collection of artifacts from the Neolithic era, with some of them dating back to 6500 B.C.! Naturally, there are also exhibits from the Mycenaean and Roman Era.
It was constructed in 1909 at the eastern seaside of Volos. Alexios Athanassakis, a merchant from Portaria, financed its construction and granted it to the Greek State after it was completed. It was only natural that the museum was named after him.
In 2004, before the Olympic Games in Athens, a new wing was added to the Museum, which now had 1200 square meters of exhibition rooms.
One hundred years after the foundation of the Museum, in 2009, the permanent exhibition open in the new wing under the title: “The development of the Thessalian city in the area of Pagasetic Gulf from the Mycenaean period to the Roman imperial times”
Let’s take a look at some interesting exhibits. Please note that these are just a tiny sample.
The tombstones exhibited in the museum are very interesting and very moving. Their original paintings are still clearly visible, depicting the deceased. The texts engraved on them are worth mentioning. Take a look:
Here is the translation of the tombstone's inscription:
“The Fates unfolded a sorrowful thread from their spindle for Hediste, when newly-wed she faced the pains of childbirth. Miserable, because she was not to embrace her child neither to moisten her infant's lips with her breasts. As soon as the baby saw the light of the sun, Fortune fell on these two with cruelty and drew them in one tomb, both mother and child.”
The translation of the inscription:
"If you Radamanthes or you Minos, have judged another woman as virtuous, judge also this daughter of Aristomachos. Lead her to the islands of the happy people, because she was devout and fair. Tylisos, city of Crete, had brought her up and this land surrounds her now. Your fate, Archidike, rated you among the immortals."
It is hard not to think that human suffering has been the same since man walks on this earth, and probably will forever be the same. It is also hard not to appreciate the literary value of these words, written more than 2000 years ago.
Visiting this museum is like deep diving into the past of this land, starting from 6500 BC and finishing at about the 4th century AD. You will leave the museum convinced that Volos and the surrounding area has been bustling with human activity for at least 8500 years. This is quite a feeling, we are sure you will agree.