Museum Thebes

The recently reopened museum of Thebes is one of the most beautiful museums in Greece. Spacious inside and modern in design, it offers a nice overview of the history of Thebes through the centuries, but also of the whole of Boiotia. A place of honor in the museum has (logically) been given to the rich Mycenaean past of Thebes and Orchomenos, with beautiful (although heavily reconstructed) frescoes from the palaces of both cities, such as the five ladies on the fresco above holding flowers and a small box (called pyxis) from the palace of Thebes, and a rowed ship from Orchomenos, part of a small tableau that also showed a hunting scene and a group of armed warriors near a city. By means of the Linear B tablets found in Thebes, it is made clear that the highly centralized, bureaucratic system of production and distribution, headed by a king (Wanax), functioned in Thebes just as in the (better known) palaces of Pylos , Mycenea and Knossos. From Tanagra, which has also been an important Mycenaean center, we see a beautiful series of ash chests with various scenes related to the funeral ritual, and possibly daily life. We see hunting scenes, bull jumping and countless sorrowful wailing women pulling their hair out in their lamentation (bottom right). Beautiful archaic votive offerings of young men (kouroi, photo right) from the sanctuary of Apollo Ptoios give us an impression of the enormous wealth that must have once characterized it. The shrine of the Kabiren (near Thebes) is present in a display which shows much of the specific Kabiren crockery, with its absurd, often explicitly sexual depictions (right). Finally, ample attention is given to the presentation of Thebes in the Attic tragedy, including the entire story around Oedipous. Outside the museum are many important inscriptions from a wider area around Thebes, while the only remnant of the Frankish castle in Thebes offers space for a (small) overview of the Franks and their watchtowers.

pedestal Muses
ash-chests Tanagra