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Information About Viotia Museums
The Distomo Archaeological Collection includes findings mainly from the ancient Phocean city of Ambrossos, which was located in the area of the now known Distomo, and its broader area. The findings, which date from Mycenaean to the Early Christian period, originate primarily from the excavations of the 10th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.
The collection is situated in the old Primary School, a preserved stone building built in 1903 and was granted by the municipality of Distomo to the Ministry of Culture in 1987. The permanent exhibition occupies two rooms on the ground floor and at the entrance of the building, while the basement is used as a conservation laboratory of mosaics. A second recurrent exhibition is held in a separate room that shows mainly photographic other supervisory material of the 1944 slaughter by the german troops. The Archaeological Collection of Distomo is overseen by the Tenth Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and attracts visitors interested in local history.
The Thebes Archaeological Museum is one the greatest museums of Greece as it includes rare and unique collections of their kind. The exhibitions come from excavations made in Viotia and cover the region's civilization from the Paleolithic to the Post-Byzantine periods.
The museum's ground-floor building with its large courtyard, is located at the north end of the Cadmeion hill. Its permanent exhibition takes over four large galleries, the entrance and courtyard of the building, while the rest of the rooms accommodate conservation laboratories, storage rooms as well as the offices of 9th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, which oversees the museum. A main characteristic of the museum is the Medieval tower in the courtyard, a residue of the Frankish fortification of Thebes and is currently used as a storage room. It is believed to be a part of the castle built by Nicholas II de Saint-Omer , the Archon of Thebes in 1278. Tradition has it that the north gate of the city's ancient fortifications stood at this same spot.
The museumâ€™s activities include registering and identification of old objects based on the inventory catalogues, the establishment of a data base, the photographic archive, the cleaning and conservation of the findings as well as the preparations for the construction of the new museum. Several of the Ninth Ephorate's activities, such as public lectures, educational programs and other cultural expositions, take place on the museum's premises.
The museumâ€™s exhibitions are very important and include amongst other, sculptures from Livadeia and Chaironeia ( Kyveli, Demetra, a portrait of emperor Hadrian, Athena Kranaia, a stone sphere with relieves of the Sun and Moon). Ceramics from pre-historic and historic locations of Chaironeia, Orchomenos, Exarchos, Saint Theodores of Antikyra, pieces of Mycenaean murals from Orchomenos, coins and weapons from Macedonian and the public tomb of Thebians in Charoneia.
In the last few years the collections of the museum have enriched with findings from the excavations of the Ephorate in Orchomenos, Livadeia, the Viotean Kifisos ( a wide burial site of ancient times), Charoneia (roman houses, tombs of classical and Hellenic eras).
On the surrounding wall of the museum there is a number of inscriptions and headstones, architectural parts of temples and pedestals from Charoneia, Livadeia, Elatia, Koronia, Davlia, Saint Vlassios and Distomo.
Also notable is the mosaic floor of the 3rd century AC with its geometrical illuminations (strips, lozenges, intersecting circles, spirals, mazes) and the impersonation of the four seasons. The mosaic, which was found in Charoneia in 1993, is in storage. The Ephoratesâ€™ intension is for the mosaic to be placed in the courtyard of the museum.
Also in the courtyard there is a tomb memorial of the 2nd century AC. (an overland tomb with shrines and a mosaic floor) which was discovered at the end of the 19th century, during excavations at the burial site where the infamous Lion (Leon) was found and was searched anew in 1990.
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