Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Heraklion Archaeological Museum

The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is a museum located in Heraklion on Crete. It is one of the best museums for Minoan art and artifacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete.  The museum houses artifacts from the periods of Cretan prehistory covering over 5,500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times.

The museum began in 1883 and has survived multiple destructive earthquakes in the early 1900s, natural disasters, and the bombing and subsequent German invasion in 1941. Although the museum was damaged during World War II, the collection survived and again became accessible to the public.

Exhibits of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

  • Snake Goddess
  • Phaistos Disc
  • Arkalochori Axe
  • Bull Leaper
  • Cretan hieroglyphs (1900-1600 BC) on a clay bar
  • Minoan rhyton in the form of a bull
  • Boar tusk helmet
  • Bull-leaping fresco

The museum’s collection is organized into the following exhibition spaces:

  • 6000 BCE to the pre-Palatial period
  • 2000 BCE to 1700 BCE Minoan peak sanctuaries
  • 1700 BCE to 1450 BCE Minoan influence
  • Cemeteries at Knossos, Phaistos, and Archanes
  • 1700 BCE to 1450 BCE – Palace of Zakros
  • 1700 BCE to 1450 BCE in eastern Crete
  • 1400 BCE to 1100 BCE Mycenaean
  • 1100 BCE to 900 BCE Dorian
  • Hall of the Frescoes
  • Classical Greek and Greco-Roman

Greek Proverbs and Quotes

Heraklion Archaeological Museum


“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness:
a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea.
Nothing else.”

– Nikos Kazantzakis


Photo Credit: JOM