Mykonos Museum is one of the oldest in Greece. It was built in 1905 specifically to house the major discovery of the period: a “hoard” of pottery discovered on Rheneia, a small island opposite Delos.
Mykonos Museum houses a unique collection of Cycladic vases ranging from the Geometric period to the 6th c. BC. In 426/5 BC, following the dictates of an oracle, the Athenians purified the island of Delos from earlier burials. They transferred the bones of the dead together with the grave-offerings to the island of Rheneia opposite and forbade anyone henceforth to give birth or be buried on the sacred island of Apollo. From that time Rheneia, and particularly the coast opposite Delos, was converted into a cemetery for the Delians, down to the end of the Hellenistic period (426/5-1st c. BC).
In the years 1898-1900 came to light the contents of the “purification pit” on Rheneia – the name given to a group of tombs found on the island, the earliest of them dating from 426/5 BC – and the finds were taken to Mykonos Museum which, but for a very few exceptions, is now given over almost exclusively to the finds discovered in the cemetery on Rheneia.
Rooms 2, 3 and 5 of the Museum contain the pottery found in the “pit” on Rheneia, which revealed the existence of Cycladic pottery workshops during the Archaic period.
The Museum pottery collection includes objects produced in a variety of workshops dating from the Geometric period, which flourished in the Cyclades in the 9th and 8th c. BC, Cycladic vases of the 7th and 6th c. BC (from Naxos, Paros and Siphnos), and also objects sent to Delos by Rhodian, Samian, Chian, Corinthian and Attic workshops.
One of the important objects on display in Mykonos Museum is the relief pithos with scenes from the Fall of Troy. This comes from the neighbouring island of Tinos, on which a workshop specialised in making relief vases flourished; it was found at Chora on Mykonos.
Mykonos Museum also contains Prehistoric pottery found at Diakophti, a hill on the west side of the island – evidence that Mykonos was inhabited as early as the 3rd millennium BC.
Special interest attaches to the extensive collection of Attic black-figure and red-figure vases, which includes works by important Attic vase-painters (6th-5th c. BC), such as the Berlin painter, the Kleophon painter, and so on. A wedding cauldron on display in the Museum has led to a red-figure painter being called conventionally the “Mykonos painter”.
The cemetery on Rheneia has also yielded grave-offerings of Hellenistic and Roman times, which are displayed in the small Room 1 to the south.
Room 4 to the north and the porticoes in the courtyard house a large series of Hellenistic grave reliefs from Rheneia (2nd-1st c. BC). Mykonos Museum also contains Prehistoric pottery found at Diakophti, a hill on the west side of the island – evidence that Mykonos was inhabited as early as the 3rd millennium BC.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.