Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cyprus Archaeological Museum

The Cyprus Archaeological Museum (also known as the Cyprus Museum and the Nicosia Archaeological Museum) is located in the city of Nicosia, within the Nicosia district of Cyprus.

This museum is considered the oldest and largest archaeological museum on the island, and it features an extensive collection of ancient Cypriot artifacts.

The Cyprus Archaeological Museum opened in 1882 in another building that's now in Northern Nicosia.  In 1908, construction for the current museum building began, and it was originally dedicated to Queen Victoria, since Cyprus was under British rule at the time. 

According to the Visit the Cyprus Museum Nicosia brochure, "No country in the world of the small size of Cyprus can boast of a past so ancient and a culture of such diversity and wealth....  Extensive excavations throughout the island carried out by the Cyprus Department of Antiquities and foreign archaeological expeditions enriched the collections of the Cyprus Museum considerably and boosted Cypriot archaeology."  

Today, this museum has fourteen rooms with the ancient archaeological items displayed mostly in chronological order.

Room One features the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods.  Room Two focuses on pottery from the Early Bronze Age, while Room Three features pottery from the Middle Bronze Age to the Roman period.  Room Four displays ancient artifacts discovered at Agia Irini.

Room Five focuses on the Classical period, while Room Six features marble and bronze statues dating to the Hellenistic and Roman periods.  Room Seven is divided into three parts: bronze objects, seals and coins, and jewellery and glass objects dating from the Early Bronze age to early Christian times.  Room Eight displays a reconstruction of ancient tombs, while Room Nine includes ancient grave monuments.

Room Ten features the evolution of writing in Cyprus, and Room Eleven displays ancient artifacts from the royal tombs of Salamis.  Room Twelve focuses on ancient metal work, while Room Thirteen displays sculptures discovered at the Salamis gymnasium from the Roman period.  Room Fourteen focuses on clay figurines from the Early Bronze Age through the Roman period.

One of the most popular items is the marble statue of Aphrodite, especially since this museum is part of the Aphrodite Cultural Route.

Over the years, the Cyprus Archaeological Museum has received archaeological items from excavations across the island.  Since the museum collection has outgrown the existing museum space, only apart of the collection is on display at one time.  This museum has special exhibitions, such as the Anthropos: Faces of Cyprus through the Ages in 2012-2013.

The Cyprus Archaeological Museum is an interesting museum to explore, especially for the locals and tourists that visit the various archaeological sites throughout Cyprus.

Site: Cyprus Archaeological Museum. 

Category: Museum. 

Location: Mouseiou Street in the city Nicosia, within the Nicosia district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 22865854. 

Operating Hours: 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Tuesday to Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Saturday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Sunday, and closed on Monday. 

Entrance Fee: €4,50. 

Date of Visit: 2012.

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