Museum Brauron

The museum of Brauron has a very rich collection of ancient Greek artifacts, found in the important sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia near the present village of Vravróna. The most important finds are related to the cult of Artemis, where little girls aged 10-12 as Arktoi (“she-bears”) stayed in the sanctuary for some time in the service of the goddess until their first menstruation.
The girls are depicted holding their favorite animal, usually a pigeon or a hare. There are also some statues of boys, who may have died early, and are therefore honored in this sanctuary as a “children’s sanctuary”.

Below we see a number of beautiful reliefs, such as the relief (left) including a seated Zeus, with Leto, Apollo and Artemis, presumably taking Orestes and Iphigeneia (on the bridle) to her own sanctuary. The right part (on which Iphigeneia) has unfortunately largely been lost.
In another relief (center) we see the goddess Artemis sitting with the deer devoted to her, while a procession of believers with small children, a chest and a sheep or goat approach her. On the relief (right), a procession of the faithful is standing right in front of an altar, together with the cow to be sacrificed, while the goddess herself introduces the sacrifice by sprinkling the cow.

A very beautiful late geometric vase in the museum of Brauron (720-690 B.C.) shows us details of the burial of a rich man. On the vase we see (apart from the varied “filling” between the more important ornaments) wailing women with their hands in the hair to the right of the corpse and below, helmeted and armed warriors to the left of the bier, while the belly of the burial vase is filled with a procession with chariots and below (barely visible) a procession of soldiers with circular shields, possibly parading along the bier.

There are countless smaller finds in the display cabinets, we show here a small black-figure bottle (lekythos), on which, among other things, the goddess Athena is depicted, flanked by two warriors and a particularly detailed red-figure shard on which we can see a musician, adorned with a wreath and in his hand a lyre or kithara.