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Diachronic Museum of Larissa

A new archaeological museum was established in Thessalyat the end of 2015, a museum discernible among the others, due to its diachronic presentation. All periods of culture are included, from Paleolithic to Modern Times, through a variety of finds coming from excavation or handed over by individuals. Exhibition starts with an interesting part about prehistory, emphasizing in Neolithic period, about which Thessalyis famous worldwide. Among others, a large amount of anthropomorphic figurines, coming from the densely habitated Larissa plain from 7th to 4th millenium before present, depicted in a variety of postures and gestures, provide valuable information for understanding the culture of this age. Besides them, large vases for storaging cereals and various cooking pots and tools lead to the traces of the first farmers and stockbreaders of Europe. An unique model of a house of the 5th millennium is exhibited, depicting a family with its holdings, emphasizing the role of the household as productive and social unit in the Neolithic society. Further on, the menhir is very impressive, a man-shaped stele of 2m. height, dated to the 3rd millenium, with remarkable depiction of body and jewelry. Thriving Thessalian cities of classical period, Larissa, Pharsala, Krannon and others, are represented through sculpture, mainly from graves, shrine offerings or every day objects. Among them particularly remarkable is the stele of warrior Theotimos, who died in the battle of Tanagra, at 457 B.C., depicted with helmet and shield, along with the women stelae, in characteristic postures of family life. From the impressive funerary tombs of Agios Georgios and Homolio, a lot of the finds unearthed from the fire layer are exhibited, among them the iron weapons of the deceased and many vases. In an attempt of representation of the scene, parts of the carriage, used for the transportation of the dead persons to the fire, have also been included. Ceramic vases of everyday use, like the unique one from Pharsala, destined for cheese preparation, precious grave finds, like gold wreaths, as well as offerings to the sacred temples, produce evidence for life and art of the people till the roman times. In this section one must not omit the video about a sacred law, which protected the shrine of Artemis in Marmarini, as well as the show-case with gold offerings, connected with orphic mysteries. The entrance to the byzantine section is underlined by a double-sided piece of sculpture, from a church of 5th cent., for which a roman statue has been reused. Special attention should be paid to the sculpture from St. Achillios church, protector and first archbishop of Larissa, during the 4th c. A.D., as well as the inscribed mouth of the well from the same church. In the central show case the ceramic chalice of the church of the Velika castle is exhibited, along with the bread stamp, disc and myrrh glass, liturgical objects rarely found in early Christian churches. Further on, many parts of mosaic pavements are displayed, coming from secular buildings of Larissa in late antiquity, along with pieces from the household of this era. In the following section one can find byzantine sculpture, as well as impressive glazed ceramic plates and ornaments from graves. Particularly interesting are the painted portraits of saints from monasteries of the Mountainof Cells (Kissavos), good quality depictions of 12th c., along with the gold coin hoard, donation of the Komnenian emperors to the Cells. The post-byzantine section is equally interesting, representing the co-existence of Ottoman conquerors with Christian and jewish population from 15th cent. onwards. This situation had not inhibited the economic development of the cities, the inflorescence of Christian art and the creation of commercial centres known throughoutEurope, as Ampelakia. Worth-mentioning are the painted ikonostasis from Polydendri, in the area of Agia (1590) and the double-sided icons of Virgin from Krania in Olympos. The exhibition contains video presentations about the more important items.

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