Athens Archeological Museum

April 4, 2017 Paul Groves

Day 89 of 111. National Archeological Museum, Athens, Greece

This museum has examples of pottery, artifacts, and art from all over Greece. We were especially taken by the pottery shard showing donkeys pulling a rope and the statue of the Minotaur. The gold Mask of Agamemnon (not really him, since the gold was dated before he was born) was one of many pieces of gold found in various tombs.

Our guide was very good at explaining the evolution of the figures. The earliest figures (bottom left) were very stylized with lines representing muscles such as on the abdomen and thighs. The figure on the right has a more natural depiction of abdominal muscles, etc. Eventually, the figures became very natural, but idealized such as the figure in the center. The bronze statue is called the Poseidon of Artemision. This statue was very interesting because it was found in a ship wreck. There is still some uncertainty whether it is Poseidon or Zeus. Whatever the statue was throwing would clearly determine its identity. Poseidon would have a trident and Zeus would be throwing a thunderbolt. The other interesting idea is that the body is idealized and therefore athletic and young. The beard and mustache show that this is supposed to be an older male.

The boy on the horse is an even later development of the human figure where anguish and emotion are shown rather than placid ideal figures.