Archaeological Museum of Nemea

Archaeological Museum of Nemea

The Archaeological Museum of Nemea was founded as a result of the excavations that were conducted in the area by the University Berkeley of California and mainly to the generosity of Mr Rudolph A. Peterson. It was donated to the Greek State on March 28th 1984. The museum entrance is on the west side, while the yard invites the visitor to discover the site.

Exhibits of the Archaeological Museum of Nemea

The Archaeological Museum of Nemea includes a variety of exhibits and findings, like the photo collection of many travelers from the 18th and 20th century, coins from ancient visitors of Nemea, objects related to sport activities, prehistoric findings, ceramics, tools, weapons etc. A collection of architectural parts from various monuments and an inscription collection (Nemea, Fliounta, Petri) are also desplayed, as well as jars and jewelry from the Mycenaean cemetery of Aidonia, also known as Aidonia Treasure.

The small village of Aidonia is located on the west side of Nemea, not far from the city, wherethe Mycenaean tombs were excavated and brought to light in 1978-1980. Unfortunately, most of the tombs had already been looted of their contents. The tombs belonged to the Mycenaean town Arethyrei, which Homer calls “heratini”, meaning charming, attractive.

The return of the Aidona Collection

In the spring of 1993, a large collection of Mycenaean seals and jewelry, 312 objects in total, strangely appeared in New York in order to be auctioned. The more than obvious uniformity of the objects indicated that they constituted a whole. It did not take long for the Greek archaeologists to discover that these particular objects were the ones stolen from the desecrated Mycenaean tombs of Aidonia. At last, the collection, which was widely known as the Aidonia Treasure, returned to Greece, after a legal battle. The treasure consists of two gold seal rings, the one depicting a chariot performance and the other two women holding flowers, two gold rings and one more made of amber, three signet rings made of steatite, amethyst and agate, gold dressing jewelry and gold beads as well as a large number of other beads made from different materials. The objects date back mainly to the 1500-1400 B.C.