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Ancient Artifacts Excavated On Lefkada Island To Be Housed In New Museum

Chalcedony seal.
Chalcedony stone seal depicting the myth of the abduction of Europa by Zeus transformed into a bull. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture And Sports

Magnificent ancient artifacts and other archaeological finds excavated on the island of Lefkada, western Greece, will be housed in a new local museum, the Ministry of Culture announced.

The Greek Ministry of Finance has recently offered the Ministry of Culture and Sports a 3.800 sq. m. plot of land on the island for this purpose.

The new museum will be built in an area near the marina of the modern town of Lefkada.

Currently, the artifacts excavated on the island can be seen at the Archaeological Museum which opened its doors in 1999, housed in an independent neoclassical building which belongs to the Cultural Center of the municipality of Lefkada.

Bronze mirror with Caryatid.
Bronze mirror with Caryatid, Classical Age. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture And Sports

The new premises, whose construction plans have just been greenlit, will include halls for permanent and temporary exhibitions, storage rooms and conservation labs, multimedia and education spaces, as well as a library and archives room.

Fragmented stone finds of architectural origin, which are now kept in storage, are planned to be exhibited in the museum’s courtyard.

Lefkada island’s ancient artifacts

Antiquities found on Lefkada island range in date from the Middle Neolithic period to 1864, when the Ionian island was incorporated into the newly-founded Greek state.

Copper statuette of Satyr dancing.
Copper statuette of Satyr dancing. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture And Sports

The ancient town was founded in the 7th century BC, to the south of the modern capital of the island. Ancient sources report that, during the Peloponnesian War, Lefkada joined the Greek cities of the Peloponnesian League.

According to the local Ephorate of Antiquities, the existing Archaeological Museum is organised into four thematic exhibition rooms.

The first one includes everyday objects excavated from the ancient Agora, the harbour, as well as from ancient city homes and cottages.

The second room is dedicated to the gods and goddesses worshipped on the island during ancient times. The statues and votive objects in this room came from public, private and rural shrines and sanctuaries, including the numerous sacred caves across Lefkada.

Ancient figurine of woman sitting on swan.
Figurine of woman sitting on swan. Credit: Greek Ministry of Culture And Sports

Archaeological finds related to funerary customs are on display in the third room, where visitors can also see objects found on nearby small islands in the Ionian Sea.

Prehistoric artifacts excavated by the German archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld, who made some of the first important archaeological discoveries on Lefkada in the late 19th – early 20th century, are exhibited in the fourth and last room of the museum.

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