Exploring The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

I am not a night owl. When I’m at home I go to sleep around ten and wake up at six in the morning. I call this rooster time. Even though I didn’t grow up in Puerto Rico I can still hear the cry of the bird coming from a farm down the road near my Uncle’s house.

If you want to visit the museums in Greece it helps to wake up early. They sometimes close in the evening for a few hours and may or may not reopen later on during the day.

The other day I got up and left my room around 11 o’ clock, my roommate was still sleeping and I quietly tiptoed outside, searching for a bank to exchange some of the American money I had with me. Since I get lost easily I decided to walk down the one road I know and not venture from the path. The walk was thirty minutes, it was hot, the sun was beating down on my large forehead and I was sweating, praying to whatever God (or Goddess) out there to lead me someplace cool.

I tiredly dragged my feet a few more blocks until I ended up outside The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki. I spent three hours roaming around, examining the exhibits and minute details of statues, reading historical excerpts  along the way (thankfully written in Greek and English).

It’s amazing to visit another country and immerse yourself in their history. I tend to examine statutes, mosaics and artifacts and daze off, trying to imagine who used this bowl or who spent the day, month or year trying to perfect something that people are still in awe of today.

What I appreciate so much about Greece and the people who inhabit the country is the fact that they know their own history. You can take a stroll with a Greek and they can point out the statues, explaining who each one is and why they are important.

It’s different in New York. Our museums are filled with work from foreign artists. We don’t have a rich history like other countries because the United States is still young. You just can’t compare the two–something I need to stop doing whenever I feel homesick.

Bust of Priest L. Titonius Primus
Bust of Priest L. Titonius Primus
Statuette of Aphrodite Omonoia (Concord). On her right are the extremities of a small Cupid.
Statuette of Aphrodite Omonoia (Concord). On her right are the extremities of a small Cupid.
From left to right: Head of Isis, Head of Sarapis and Head of a cult statue of Isis.
From left to right: Head of Isis, Head of Sarapis and Head of a cult statue of Isis.
This is a slab inscribed with a poem by the poet Damaios. The poem is dedicated to the daiman Osiris, describing his death.
This is a slab inscribed with a poem by the poet Damaios. The poem is dedicated to the daiman Osiris, describing his death.
Grave goods from a male burial.  Mid-4th c. BC.
Grave goods from a male burial. Mid-4th c. BC.
Grave goods from female burials in pit-graves.
Grave goods from female burials in pit-graves.
Gold ivy wreath of Alexander III.
Gold ivy wreath of Alexander III.
Cemetery of Ancient Ainela. Inside are the bones of a young woman and her newborn infant.
Cemetery of Ancient Ainela. Inside are the bones of a young woman and her newborn infant.
This really intrigued me. Shown is a gold death mask they used to put on the deceased.
This really intrigued me. Shown is a gold death mask they used to put on the deceased.
A model of a country house from Asprovalta built in the late 4th. c. B.C.
A model of a country house from Asprovalta built in the late 4th. c. B.C.
A clay beehive so bees could build their honeycomb.
A clay beehive so bees could build their honeycomb.
Votive relief dedicated to the god Hades.
Votive relief dedicated to the god Hades.
A death mask used to preserve the face of the deceased.
A death mask used to preserve the face of the deceased.
The skeleton of a female, found in 1962 with traces of her eyebrows and braided hair which were preserved thanks to the tight seal of her coffin.
The skeleton of a female, found in 1962 with traces of her eyebrows and braided hair which were preserved thanks to the tight seal of her coffin.
Here's Atlas, a favorite of mine from Greek mythology. He bears the world on his shoulders.
Here’s Atlas, a favorite of mine from Greek mythology. He bears the world on his shoulders.
Statue of Octavian Augustus, first emperor of Rome.
Statue of Octavian Augustus, first emperor of Rome.
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