Seeing the Old Things

I made it to the Archeological Museum today – finally.  No strike today.  Lots of the things there I have seen many times in pictures.  It is interesting to see them in real life.  The museum is very well organized. Each of the exhibits has explanations and descriptions in Greek and English.  The English is very good, obviously written by an educated native speaker.  Many of the sculptures are grave monuments and they can be very poignant.  As the descriptions explain, they often show the deceased saying goodbye to his/her family and the joys of life.  The artists capture the expressions very well so that we can feel the grief across the millennia.

 I also saw the gold mask of Agamemnon from Mycenae. This is the real one. The one in Mycenae is just a copy.  There are also lots of pots.  Pots are some of the most important clues to archeologists because they are so common and cheap.  When they break, people don’t bother to retrieve the all pieces.  They just sweep them outside.  Ancient cities tended to rise in layers of dirt, refuse and pottery shards, with each layer representing a different time period, so everything lays around in distinct layers and archeologists can use pieces of pottery to identify and date cultures.