The Archaeological Collection until 1971 included only a few objects, stored in different public places of the island, all coming from Amorgos. Since 1972, however, the systematic archaeological exploration of the island and the donations of the inhabitants have significantly enriched the collection with excavations and accidental finds, the most important of which are on display today in the area of Hall or Tower of Gavras. It is a two-storey building, part of a larger building complex, to which the current house to the east belonged, as well as the adjacent one-room Church of Zoodochos Pigi, which according to the surviving epigraphic evidence was in use before the 17th century.
On the upper floor, the so-called “anoi” the high-ceilinged reception hall, known as the Hall of Gavras, dominates, with its small arched windows. A ball took place here in honor of the royal couple of the newly formed Greek state, Otto and Amalia, during their visit to the island. Today, the hall exhibits mainly sculptures from the Archaic (6th century BC) to the Roman period (3rd century AD). These are mainly surface finds from the three ancient cities of Amorgos, Aegiali, Arkesini and Minoa as well as from other places.
The showcases of the hall display ceramics as well as finds of small crafts made of copper, gold, ivory and glass, dating from the 8th BC until the 4th AD, many of which come from the excavation of Minoa (1981-1991).
On the veranda, stone inscribed slabs of Archaic times, architectural features and headless torsos of statues of Roman times are exhibited, all being surface finds.
In the two small halls of the basement, the exhibition was completed in 1998. The first includes exhibits from the Prehistoric period: these are random surface finds, but also excavations, dating to the Late Neolithic period (4th millennium BC), to the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC) and to the Late Bronze Age (15th-12th century BC). In particular, ceramic, marble figurines and a stone tomb of Cycladic Culture are exhibited. Also, a stratigraphic section from the excavation of the Early Cycladic settlement in Markiani is exhibited.
The second hall exhibits the Archaeological Collection of the Amorgian archaeologist Emmanuel Ioannidis (1823-1906). All the finds come from Amorgos. Sculptures (5th century- 2nd century AD), inscriptions (3rd century BC- 3rd century AD), ceramic and clay figurines (8th century BC- 3rd AD) are included.
In the courtyard tombstones and inscriptions are exhibited, from the 6th century BC to Christian times, as well as votive inscriptions and honorary resolutions of Hellenistic and Roman times; also, sculpture of Classical, Hellenistic and Roman times, architectural features of Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian times and a burial of the 4th Century BC in a funerary pithos of the 6th century Century BC.
The most important exhibits of the museum include a marble torso of a kouros, from Tholaria of Aegiali, probably of a Naxian workshop, 540-530 BC, a torso of a marble statue of a female figure, from Minoa, probably a votive offering to a sanctuary, work of a sculptor from Paros, 510-500 BC, which may represent the goddess Artemis and a fragment of a marble tombstone, from the port of Minoa, Gialina position, in relief of a man in a robe, resting on a cane and carrying an unexplained object: a therapy cup or a cage, or a helmet, possibly a Phrygian Pileus (Pilos). This is a brilliant work, the result of the combination of island-Ionian art, 440-430 BC. Finally, a marble altar of Rhodian type, 2nd BC, from Katapola, is on display with embossed decoration of Bucraniums (bull heads), strips, roses and flower stems as well as with remnants of red and blue color.
The visitor is interested in the vines that decorate clay lamps imported from Asia Minor, proving that the first crypto-Christian symbols of the new religion have been used since the 3rd century, as well as the attempt to Christianize the ancient idols of the Gentiles with the addition of the new purifying symbols: typical examples, the pentacle engraved on the chest of an archaic statue from Aegiali, the cross on a tombstone of the Hellenistic period from the major region of Minoa, as well as the modified silver utensil with the elaborate ornamentation, the busts of the satyrs on the handles, which has been turned into a bucket of sanctification with the engraving of the icon of the “Equal-to-the-apostles”.
Means of access:
TRADITIONAL PATH: "Palia Strata" Route
Chora – Monastery of Hozoviotissa- Kapsala – Asfontylitis – Potamos – Cove of Aegiali
Starting Point: "Kalogerikos" Point in the Chora.
TRADITIONAL PATH: "Fotodotis" Route
Chora – Milies – Agia Irini – Katapola
Summer months: Daily 08:30-15:00. Tuesday closed.
Winter months: After contacting the Euphorate of Antiquities of Cyclades and the Archaeological Site Guards of Amorgos.