The artefacts of this collection (more than 10,000 items) mostly come from cemeteries (Derveni, Sindos, Aineia, Akanthos, eastern and western cemetery of Thessaloniki etc.) and to a lesser amount from settlements (e.g. Olynthus).
They vary, not just because of their material (stone, metal, glass) but also in terms of the needs they covered and the uses they had. Associated with daily life (utility vessels, tools, jewellery etc.), or with more violent aspects of life (offensive and defensive weapons), with religious beliefs and cult practices (votive offerings, cult statues, ritual vessels, architectural members of temples etc.), with death and the afterlife (stone sarcophagi, funerary reliefs and stelae, burial offerings etc.), with public life and governance (portraits of rulers, honorary inscriptions, decrees etc.), with trade and finance (coins, deeds etc.) the artefacts of the Collection of Metalworking, Stoneworking and Miniature art, - like thousands of little pieces of a jigsaw puzzle - allow us to reconstruct an image of a very distant, yet also age-old reality, from the prehistoric to the Roman times.
This collection at least 4000 metal artefacts and is one of the richest and most important archaeological collection of its kind in the country, due to the flourishing of metalworking in ancient Macedonia.
The Museum hosts the largest collection of gold wreaths of the classical and hellenistic eras, many of the most elaborate gold and silver jewellery of the same eras, as well as a multitude of bronze jewellery of various periods. The collection of silver and bronze vessels of the A.M.Th. is considered one of the greatest, with the exceptional and one of a kind relief Derveni krater as its most striking item. The collection also includes representative examples of Macedonian weaponry (bronze helmets, iron swords and daggers, spearheads, bronze shields, lead slingshots etc.) as well as a very large number (approximately 13,000) of coins (gold, silver and bronze) from across Macedonia and the rest of Greece.
This collection comprises approximately 4,500 items/monuments. Apart from a significant number of prehistoric items, the vast majority of its artefacts dates from the late 6th c. BC to the early Christian era. These lithic artefacts belong mostly to local workshops, as well as to Athenian ones, while many are imports from Attica or other artistic workshops of northern Greece.
The collection includes statues and votive reliefs from sanctuaries within the city and its adjacent areas, portraits of emperors associated with the Imperial cult in Roman times, parts of the scuplted decorations of the Palatial Complex of Galerius, as well as a significant group of private portrait busts and funerary reliefs that testify for the grandeur of local society.
The Museum's epigraphic collection is also rich, part of which has already been published in the Inscriptiones Greacae series.
The "Rhaidestos Collection" is of great interest. Compiled by the Thracian Educational Society (founded in 1871) it includes antiquities from various places across Thrace, which were transferred to Thessaloniki in 1922 as heirlooms by the refugees from Eastern Thrace.
Miniature art collection
The core of this collection consists of the glass jewellery, luxury vessels and board games, from the excavations of cemeteris, public buildings and private houses and villas, dating from the late 6th c. BC to late antiquity.
Construction and manufacture of most miniature artworks involves the know-how and application of complex techniques, hence demonstrating the high level of aesthetics and opulence of the local societies.