From the South to the North: Colonies of the Cyclades in the Northern Aegean

12 Jul 2019 - 31 Aug 2020

The colonization of the northern Aegean by settlers from the Cyclades, soon before the mid-7th c. BC, is one of the many fascinating chapters of the Archaic Greek colonization.

The new temporary exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki offers through 478 artifacts a unique journey to the past. By sailing the sea routes through which the colonists traveled from the South to the North, the visitor has the opportunity to discover:

  • What motivated islanders from the Cyclades to found colonies at strategic points in the northern Aegean?
  • What were the relations between the locals and the colonists?
  • Which were the peculiar and which were the common characteristics of the metropolises and their colonies?
  • What kind of products traveled from and towards the new colonial markets?
  • What impact the colonies had on the political, economical and cultural life of the regions they were founded?

Τhe installation is hosted in two interconnected halls of the Museum:

The first one is dedicated to the metropolis Andros, which, in collaboration with the Chalcidians, founded colonies in the eastern Chalkidike and the Strymonic Golf. The exhibition continues with its four ‘daughters’, Akanthos, Sani on the Akte, Stageira and Argilos.

At the second hall, the metropolis Paros and its colony Thasos as well as three of Thasos’ colonies on the opposite coast, Neapolis, Oisyme and Galepsos, are presented.

Mythological references, literary and epigraphic testimonies, historical and archaeological data but also intriguing results of anthropological and archaeobotanical studies contribute to the presentation of these cities.

Personalities, such as Archilochos the Parian and Aristotle the Stagirite come to life at the curatorial narratives, whereas the past meets the present through stories about erotic jealousy, unfortunate or premature deaths, valuable charms against evil, cookery and delicate surgical operations.

Children will find at the exhibition three spots especially designed for them. Prepis, a cute small monkey inspired from a clay figurine of the exhibition, guides the young visitors, teaches them how to write in the colonists’ alphabet, proposes to them ancient cooking recipes and trains them in the pentathlon. 

The exhibition will be open to the public from 12 July 2019 to 31 August 2020. Throughout its duration, educational programmes and guided tours will be held.

Collaborating Institutions

  • Ephorates of Antiquities of Cyclades, Chalkidike & Mount Athos, Serres, Kavala-Thasos
  • Numismatic Collection of Alpha Bank
  • Casts Museum of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Research (L.I.R.A.) and the ERC Project PlantCult, Department of Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Laboratory of Physical Anthropology, Department of History and Ethnology, Democritus University of Thrace and the project «BIOMUSE: The genomic heritage of ancient Greece: Bringing digitalized human bio-history to museums», co-funded by the EU and the General Secretariat of research and technology

Visiting hours daily

July 2019 - October 2019: 8:00 to 20:00
November 2019 - March 2020: 9:00 to 16:00
April 2020 - August 2020: 8:00 to 20:00