The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki presents the temporary exhibition "Figurines. A Microcosmos of Clay".
The exhibition is devoted to ancient terracotta figurines, an important category of archaeological artefacts. Figurines have been manufactured in the Greek world from the Prehistoric era until the end of antiquity and it is easily understood that they are a characteristic and common find in excavations of sacred, funerary and domestic contexts. The Greek word ειδώλιο (figurine) is a diminutive of the ancient word εἴδωλον (idol) and is used to describe things that depict existing and imaginary beings and objects. The malleable and durable clay was the most favourite material, chosen by many generations to give shape and breathe life into images of humans, animals and objects.
The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki presents this major exhibition not only for the understanding of technical features, typology and evolution of the stylistic language and repertoire, but also for the exploring of the messages carried by these figures, which arrived to us after having traveled from the depths of time.
The exhibition is organized in two halls. In the first one, the focus is on the evolution of the coroplastic production over time, from the Neolithic period until the Roman era, offering to the visitor a panoramic view of terracotta figurines from the most important sites across Macedonia and Thrace. In the second hall the figurines are presented in thematic units according to their interpretation and context.
In total, 291 figurines out of the 670 on display come from the collection of the AMTh. The rest come from the Ephorates of Antiquities in Northern Greece (Thessaloniki Region, Thessaloniki City, Chalkidike and Mount Athos, Imathia, Pella, Pieria, Kozani, Grevena, Kastoria, Florina, Kilkis, Serres, Drama, Kavala - Thasos, Xanthi, Rodopi and Evros). Most of them will be displayed for the first time to the public as an actual panorama of figurines dating from the 7th mill. BC to the 4th c. AD.
In the framework of the exhibition, educational programmes, an experimental terracotta production workshop and an international conference will be held.
We invite you to discover with us this clay microcosmos, so familiar and simple but at the same time so complex and enigmatic.