Heraklion Archaeological Museum of Messara

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Location: Agioi Deka
Don't miss: Museums guide (free admission dates and other useful info)

Situated in the heart of the Messara Plain, the Messara Archaeological Museum is a 2900 square meters state-of-the-art point of interest that opened its doors in 2023 to offer visitors an in-depth presentation of the history of human settlement in the area, which stretches back more than 3000 years.
The Messara plain has long been a hotspot of archaeological activity, with many of the most important Minoan sites being clustered in this region, such as Gortyn, just 1 kilometer to the east, and Phaestos and Hagia Triada to the west.

The museum’s main collection is organized chronologically, with rooms dedicated to prehistoric Crete, which includes the mighty Minoan Civilisation, as well as the periods of Ancient Greece, the Roman province of Creta et Cyrenaica, and the transition into Christianity during the early Byzantine Empire.
The artifacts are combined with interactive presentations, offering a better understanding of the context in which they were once used. One example of such a presentation is a 3D digital reconstruction of the famous Phaestos Disk, allowing viewers to flip and turn it and examine the details of its markings.
The museum also features a large courtyard, which showcases the history of Gortyna’s water supply infrastructure, such as the Roman aqueduct.

Overall, visitors are privy to an extensive collection of ceramics, sculptures, statuettes, seals, jewelry, currency, ancient writing (ranging from the undeciphered Linear A to medieval Greek), murals, glass artifacts, even a set of charred figs, dating back to 1500 BCE!
The museum also holds periodical exhibits, such as “stolen past/lost future”, focusing on illegal excavations, site robbing, artifact trafficking, and wartime plunder, as well as their negative effect on the cultural record and the limits of archaeological science.

At the Messara Archaeological Museum, one can also find a conference room, where lectures on archaeology are often held, a refreshment room, and a gift shop, while the entire premises are wheelchair accessible, with the building having a disability-friendly design.

Opening hours
Summer season (April 1st – October 31st): Wednesday – Monday: 08:00 – 20:00; Tuesday: closed
Winter season(November 1st – March 31st): Wednesday – Monday: 08:30 – 15:30; Tuesday: closed

Official website: messaramuseum.gr



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