Extended visiting hours for museums and archaeological sites

Culture and Tourism Minister Pavlos Yeroulanos announced new extended visiting hoursof a number of museums and archeological sites in Greece on May 18.
The ministry said that the list will be further enriched in the future weeks, depending on the availability of staff.
The list includes some of the most popular sites and museums in Greece such as the Acropolis of Athens – Archaeological Site, which will be open from 8.00-19.00, all year round; the Thessaloniki Museum of Byzantine Culture; the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki; the Archaeological Site of Philippi; the Archeological Museum and site of Mycenae; the Archeological Museum and site of Epidaurus; the Archaeological site of Mystras; the Archeological site and Museum of Afaia, Aegina; the Archeological Museum of Messenia; the Archeological site of Ancient Messene; the Catacombs on Milos island; the Herakleion Archeological Museum; the Archeological site of Knossos and the Spinalonga island on Crete.
The list also includes the Archaeological Museum of Drama; the Church of Panagia Kosmosoteira (Our Lady, Saviour of the World), in Ferres; the Grevena Archaeological Collection; the Museum of Asian Art, Corfu; the Archaeological Collection of Arta; the Byzantine Museum of Ioannina; the Ioannina Treasury; the Fortress of Ioannina; the Igoumenitsa Archaeological Museum; the Nekromanteion of Acheron; the Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum in Volos; the Archeological site of Nea Aghialos, Magnesia; the Byzantine Museum of Fthiotida at Ypati; the Monastery of Osios Loukas; the Corinth Archeological Museum.
Ministry of Culture & Tourism:  Brief Guides to Archaeological Museums in Greece Part I & Part II; YouTube: Culture in Greece [VIDEO] [Photo 3: The Nekromanteion of Acheron – Oracle of the Dead]
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

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“Lady in Gold” unearthed on Crete

Archaeologists made an important discovery when they unearthed an ancient female skeleton covered with gold foil in a grave in the ancient city of Eleutherna on the northern foothills of Mount Ida near Rethymno, Crete. The finding dates back to the early Archaic Period.
The findings were inside a 2,700-year-old twin tomb, the only one in ancient Eleutherna, located very close to a necropolis of fallen warriors. The woman, of high social or religious status, was interred with a second skeleton in a large jar placed behind a false wall, to ward off body snatchers.
The tiny gold ornaments, ranging from 1 to 4cm long, in different forms (square, triangle, and diamond-shaped) were found next to the remains of the woman, discovered a few weeks ago by a team led by archaeology professor Nicholas Stampolidis of the University of Crete – head of the Eleutherna excavation.
A unique jewelry piece depicting a bee as a goddess was also found amongst the thousands of gold plaques. Excavators also unearthed perfume bottles, hundreds of amber, rock crystal and faience beads and a gold pendant in the form of a bee goddess.
The findings are so extraordinary that they justify the decision made recently by the Archaeological Institute of America to include the excavations at ancient Eleutherna among the best worldwide.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Antiparos:Caves, History and Cycladic Charm

Paros has for years been a household name even to those who have never visited the Greek islands.
But Antiparos – just 30 minutes by boat from Parikia, the capital of Paros, or a mere six minutes by ferry from Paros’ popular Pounta Beach – has yet to be discovered by more than those who have already been initiated in its hidden treasures:
One of the oldest and loveliest stalactite and stalagmite caves in the world; the remains of a Venetian Castle built in 1440 to protect inhabitants from pirate raids; innumerable white churches with blue domes scattered all over the island; secluded emerald beaches.
On Faneromeni beach, at the small church of Panagia Faneromeni, the September 7 annual Festival will once again treat lucky visitors with grilled octopus, tsikoudia – and warm hospitality.

To the south-west of Antiparos lies uninhabited Despotiko islet, the archaeological findings of which are turning it into an Archaeological Park.
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Lighting the way to 2010 Youth Olympic Games

The official ceremony for the Lighting of the Olympic flame that will burn at the inaugural Youth Olympics Games in Singapore will take place today (July 23) at Ancient Olympia.
In the presence of International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge and Minister of Culture Pavlos Yeroulanos, the priestess will stand in front of the 2,600 year-old Temple of Hera and by using a concave mirror will light a silver torch with the sun’s rays.
As soon as the flame is lit, the Journey of the Youth Olympic Flame will begin travelling in five cities across the globe: Berlin, Dakar, Mexico City, Auckland and Seoul.
Yesterday, a successful rehearsal was conducted and hundreds of tourists, visiting the site where the Ancient Olympics were held from 776 BC to 393 AD, witnessed the event. The first ever Youth Olympic Games will be held from August 14 to 26 in Singapore.
Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism: The Archaeological site of Olympia
(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

Greece: Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday

Theopetra(ANA) Prehistoric Theopetra Cave opens to public on Friday The opening to the public of the prehistoric Theopetra Cave in Trikala prefecture, will be marked with a concert on Friday. Theopetra Cave is a famous archaeological site, and the first excavated cave in Thessaly, with excavations starting in 1987 and continuing to the present. Its deposits begin in the Middle Paleolithic period and continue without gaps until the end of the Neolithic period (3000 BC). Its uniqueness is that in contains, within a single site, the records of two greatly significant cultural transitions: The replacement of Neanderthals by modern humans, and the later transition from hunter-gathering to farming after the end of the last Ice Age. The cave, situated just three kilometers from Meteora, consists of an immense 500 square meter rectangular chamber at the foot of a limestone hill, which rises to the northeast above the village of Theopetra, with a very big entrance 17m wide by three metres high. It lies at the foot of the Chasia mountain range, which forms the natural boundary between Thessaly and Epirus prefectures, while the Lithaios River, a tributary of the Pineios River, flows in front of the cave. Excavations, which have been systematically carried out, have unearthed light geological deposits dating to the Pleistocene and Holocene periods as well as anthropogenic deposits, indicating that the cave had been continuously inhabited during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic, the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods. Specimens found, such as coal and human bones, prove that the cave was occupied from about 50,000 BC to 4000 BC, and that temporary use continued during the Bronze Age and historic times up to 1955. Even after that the cave was used occasionally to by shepherds to shelter their herds right up until the excavations began. It is the first time that cave dwelling was recorded in Thessaly during the Palaeolithic period. Continue reading

Greece: Patras Museum Inaugurated

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Greece’s second largest archaeological museum and one of Europe’s most modern was inaugurated on Friday (June 24) in the city of Patras, in the Peloponnese.  Finds from the Mycenaean period, as well as the extraordinary mosaics that date back to Roman times, all of which highlight the city’s legacy, are two of the most important areas of interest in the New Patras Archaeological Museum.  The museum’s architectural design was meant to match the city’s landscape and the 500 square metre outdoor pool at the entrance emphasizes the city’s ties with its port and water. The exhibits reconstruct Patras’s long history dating back to prehistoric times.   Gifted by nature, Patras is nowadays a commercial hub and Greece’s third most important city. Culture Minister Antonis Samaras noted that the “museum highlights the rich yet unknown cultural heritage of the broader area of Achaia.”   Secretariat General of Information: About Greece-Culture, Museums, Antiquities ; Ministry of Culture: Odysseus-Greek archeological monuments; City of Patra: www.patras.gr

An Exhibition “Made of Electrum”

Electrum(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki hosts an exhibition titled “The magic of electrum: Charms and Jewelry from Magna Grecia and Macedonia.”   Numerous masterpieces made of electrum dating back to the Mycenaean and Roman Era as well as other objects made of metals and bones coming from the Basilicata tombs in southern Italy and other burial-grounds in Macedonia will be on display in this exhibition, which will run until February 15, 2010.  The exhibition is organized by the Archaeological Museums of Thessaloniki and Potenza in collaboration with the Italian Education Institute of Thessaloniki.