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The Archaeological Museum of Samos

The Archaeological Museum of Samos is housed in two buildings in the center of the town of Samos. The one is the so-called “Paschalion Archaeophylakeion”, which used to be the museum of the island since 1912; the other has been constructed and inaugurated in 1980s’, at the expense of a well known automotive industry.

The museum has very interesting collections of sculptures of the Archaic period, of pottery of all periods, as well as several ivory and wooden objects, several Archaic “kore” (statues of young girls) and numerous miniature items.
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Among the most important exhibits is the colossal “kouros” (statue of young boy), of a height of some 5,50 meters, made in Ionian style and dated in the first quarter of the 6th century b.C. One of the most well known sculptures is the marble statue of Hera, the so-called “Hera of Cheramyes”, after the name of the donator, dated in circa 570–560 b.C.; there is also the group of statues made by the sculptor Geneleos, constituted of four standing female figures and a seated male one; a fourth woman figure, “Ornithe” is found in the Berlin museum; the sculptures are dated in mid-6th century b.C. The visitor will also see a relief made of marble presenting a naked young man, holding a “pyxis” with the left hand and tending the right hand to a seated figure holding a scepter; it has been find at the town of Samos, dated in the 5th century b.C. and some of the scholars consider it as a votive sculpture, while others think that it is a funerary monument. It is also worth seeing the bronze statuette of a rider with inlaid eyes, of a height of 20 cm., dated in late 6th century; a bronze breast plate of a horse depicting Hercules during his fight with the three-headed dog who protected the cattle of Geryones, while their shepherd lies down, already dead. Finally, the visitor may see the kneeling figure of a naked woman made of wood, of a height of 17 cm; the statuette is dated in the 7th century b.C., and it is quite rare a find, since climatic conditions in Greece hardly permit wood to be preserved for such a long time.

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From the smaller exhibits it is worth mentioning an Archaic clay “kernos”, decorated with miniature vessels and statuettes, dated in the 7th century; an ivory high relief of only 10 cm, depicting Perseus to kill Medusa, a find coming from Laconia and dated in the second half or the 7th century b.C.; an ivory statuette of a kneeling young man, 14 cm high, which was part of a lyre and it is dated also in the 7th century b.C.

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