The Archaeological Museum of Nisyrosis located at Mandraki, in the site of Limnes. It is housed in a building, named”Giannideios Hestia for the protection of Archaeological finds” in honour of Giannidis’ brothers, the Nisyrians who donated and sponsored it in 2001. Necessary renovations of improving the building, according to themost modern attitude for Museums, had been undertaken by the former 22ndEphorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, within the framework of the 2000-2006 Regional Operational Programme of the Southern Aegean, which was also in charge of the exhibition. Upon the completion of the construction works, a space of 454 sq.m. had been ready for the exhibition and 220 sq.m. for the storage and preservation of antiquities. Thus finally, the Museum opened its doors to the public in May 2009got their Museum, and the Nisyrians got the Museum they deserved, after so many years of request.
The exhibition is divided into sections that cover the entire historical timeline of the island, from the prehistoric (4th millennium BC) to the post-Byzantine period (19th century AD).
The first two rooms introduce the visitors to the main exhibition. Informative texts and visual materials (maps, photographs, and chronological tables) help the visitorto feel familiar with the mythology and history and the most important monuments of Nisyros and the adjacent islands. The first section of the exhibition is dedicated to prehistory with findings derivedfrom the Neolithic settlement on the neighbouringislet of Yali, as well as representative finds of the Neolithic and Bronze Age finds from the island of Nisyros.
Thenextbright large hallis the main exhibition space, which hosts finds derived from the excavations of the extensive necropolis of the ancient city at Mandraki and the hill of Palaiokastro. The presentation of the finds according to their chronology in distinctive groups provides evidence for the long use of the cemetery from the 8th c. BC to the 2nd c. AD, the burial customs, the typology of ceramic products, and tthe political and economic interconnections of Nisyros with important centers of the ancient world.
The Geometric and Archaic periods in Nisyros, known mainly from the cemeteries, are presented in the Museum by groups ofgrave goods that accompanied cremations of the deceased, a burialpractice that was widely adopted during this period for adults in the cemetery of Ai Yiannis, and other grave offerings found within small clay jars, where children were buried. Characteristic examples of archaic pottery, mostly plates and jugs decorated with plant and animal motifs, products of the so-called “workshop of Nisyros” are shown among other grave goods, while imported Corinthian and Attic pottery show the distribution of the products of these two large centers.
Finds from the cemeteries of the 5th and 4th c. BC, which are displayed in the next section, provide evidence for burial customs of the classical period, a period of great prosperity for Nisyros.
During the classical period the practice of inhumation in large clay jars and sarcophagi was the most popular in Nisyros. The exhibits, accompanied by visual materials, present the beliefs that affected the choice of burial gifts to the dead, the funerals and the after death ceremonies, the burial customs for the deceased children, the location of the cemeteries and the marking of the graves. The reconstruction of three burial jars and two sarcophagi, as they were found in the excavation, in a specially designed space presents a part of the extended cemetery that has been found at the Municipal Stadium of Mandraki. The picture redirects the guest to the excavation site, while a gigantic photo of the excavation in the background completes the realistic scene.
The next section brings the guest back to the world of life. Aspects of everyday life, such taking care of their children, education, and physical activities for men, household management the process of marriage for women, are illuminated through the exhibition of selected items.
During the Hellenistic period (3rd-2nd century BC) sculptures, coins, decrees of the Nisyrian state, related to historical events and prominent Nisyrian officials, who stood out in military conflicts of the era, demonstrate the religious, and social organization of the Nisyrian state. The large stone base of a statue in the form of a warship prow (2nd-1st c. BC), most probably coming from a monument of a distinguished Nisyrian leader, is exhibited in a prominent location of the exhibition. Burial gifts derived from the Hellenistic cemeteries show burial customs of the new era, while a few sculptures and other selected finds represent the art of this period and provide further information about the daily life and activities of the Nisyrian society during this period.
The exhibition continues on the lower level of the building with finds dated to late Antiquity and the Byzantine, as well as post-Byzantine periods. Engraved tombstones from a local late Roman workshop, architectural members from early Christian basilicas, fragments of frescoes, distinctive sculptures, objects of daily use, and other Byzantine cult objects, as well as a part of a wood-carved iconostasis and icons of the post-Byzantine period, embedded in a designed representation of a holy place of a church, present a comprehensible picture of life, architecture and art during the later periods of Nisyros and narrate the predominance of Christianity, the occupation of the island by the Knights of the order of St. John and the period of Ottoman rule.
Finds, mostly plates, from a shipwreck of the 19th century from the sea area of Nisyros are exhibited in the last room of the Museum, where a film about the excavation and restoration works on the fortification walls of the ancient acropolis in Palaiokastro is also projected. Finally, sculptures from Hellenistic and Roman times have been placed in the courtyard of the building.
Mandraki, Nisyros, postal code 85303
Means of access:
1.11.2019 – 31.3.2020
Wednesday – Monday: 08:30 – 16:00
Tuesday: Closed, Summer:
Wednesday – Monday: 08:30 – 16:00
Full: €4, Reduced: €2