Sitia Museum

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The Sitia Museum houses a plethora of artifacts found mainly in Lasithi. While the most important finds from eastern Crete are exhibited at the Heraklion museum, there is enough in Sitia to warrant a visit.

This is a small museum with a well laid-out plan and many signs that explain in detail the exhibited artifacts. Like the Heraklion museum the floor is divided into the Minoan Neolithic, Pre-Palatial, Neo-Palatial, and Post-Palatial eras, while roughly one third of the space is dedicated to Classical and Hellenistic Crete.

The cases of the museum are filled with pottery and tools from Minoan culture, and most intriguing of the artifacts is the large collection of Linear A tablets from the palace of Kato Zakros. The clay tablets hardened during the fierce fire which destroyed the palace and this is how they survived to our day. The Linear A script has not yet been deciphered.

Most impressive of all the artifacts of the Sitia Museum is the small statuette known as "Palekastro Kouros". The statue's body was made of Hippopotamus ivory which was probably imported from Egypt, and the head was carved out of serpentine with eyes made of rock crystal. Its bowels were made of wood, and its clothes made of gold leaf. It was found in three pieces at the Palekastro excavations. This statue itself is worth the visit to the museum.

I visited the museum twice during the summer of 2003 and during my second visit I brought our two young daughters along with their cousins. They girls enjoyed the museum, and were most intrigued by the sarcophagus which still contained a skeleton from the necropolis of Itanos.

A leisurely visit to the Sitia museum should take about one hour, and the museum's staff was some of the most helpful I have encountered in Greek museums.

Sitia Museum Pictures

Linear A clay tablet.   Linear A
Stone tools and arrowheads. Bronze hooks and spears  
  Hellenistic gold ring  
Athens map. Satellite picture
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