This week we went to the National Archeological Museum and the Acropolis. The National Archeological Museum had a wide range of things, including weaponry, death masks, jewelry, and statues. The museum has the most famous death mask which was found by Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann believed that the mask he found was the face of Agamemnon but this turns out was a false assumption. The museum also had several statues which were very familiar. I was surprised at how many statues there were in the museum that I recognized. Many of the familiar things I saw were smaller than I thought they would be but they were more impressive in real life that in pictures because pictures cannot capture the full depth of the different artifacts and the minute details. Two unique things that were in the museum were an ancient clock that had been found in pieces and then a model reconstructed based off of the ancient pieces, and a bronze statue that had been found in the sea which was new to the museum.
We went to the Acropolis on Wednesday. I think I was expecting there to be more buildings or something because there was not as much there as I thought there would be. There was scaffolding everywhere and much of the site is undergoing reconstruction so it was difficult to imagine the Acropolis as it was in ancient times because there was so much that was covered in scaffolding. And it was impossible to get very close to anything because all of the buildings were roped off. I think the best part of visiting the Acropolis was seeing the Erechtheion and seeing the Caryatids and hearing Ioanna tell us about the women that were the models for the statues. She said that the women came from her village which is near Sparta and the village had sided with the Spartans during the Peloponnesian War. Ioanna said there were two popular explanations as to why women were chosen as models from her village. The first one she explained was that the Athenians wanted these women to carry the burden of their shame for siding with the losing Spartans forever. The other explination, which is the one that the people in Ioanna’s village believe, is that the most beautiful women in the world lived in the village and that the Athenians wanted the most beautiful women to adorn their sacred buildings. Thursday we leave for Turkey for a long weekend.