The famous exhibits of the Museum of Delphi and the fabulous myths associated with them. My story and 17 photos are published for the first time!

in #travel4 years ago (edited)

Excavations of the ancient city of Delphi by the French began in 1892. What did the scientists see on the slope of Mount Parnassus, seeing this place for the first time? A small town with one-story crooked little houses, life in which went its own way. But, these unpretentious modern buildings grew from ancient walls, and the tops of marble columns protruded side by side like mushrooms after the rain. Soon all the houses were redeemed, their residents moved to the nearest village, from which later modern Delphi was formed, and on the terrain grandiose works of archeologists began.


Layer by layer, scientists have removed the layers of the earth, exposing the stunning architectural forms of the temple of Apollo and numerous storehouse. Millions of shards and fragments of statues were found here. Under one of the stone slab of the ancient road was found a warehouse of jewelry made of gold and ivory. There were made discoveries of world-wide value.

More than 6,000 exhibits found during the excavations are now stored and displayed in the archaeological museum of the city of Delphi, located a few hundred meters from the ancient city. In the spacious modern spaces of the museum there is a very interesting exposition. In 14 auditoriums the finds are logically divided in time and place of their detection. In this post I will tell you about the most famous exhibits.

The first and most memorable, this is of course the "Delphic driver the chariot". Surely you met his images in books on art, or on souvenirs brought from Greece. This sculptural group, made of bronze, dates from 478-474 BC. It is believed that this slender young man is one of the winners of the Pythian games (my post about games here), and the sculpture was presented to Delphi as a gift from Sicily. In the previous post I told that the streets of the ancient city were decorated with numerous statues of the winners of the competitions, gods and warriors. On the forehead of the driver the chariot, we see a ceremonial ribbon with traditional meandering ornamentation, it symbolizes victory in games. Most likely, the young man's head was once adorned with a laurel wreath of precious metal. The craftsmanship of the sculptor is evidenced by the finest elaboration of the folds of chiton, elegant curls of curls and tension in the muscles of the hands and feet of the young man. His eyes are made of semiprecious stones of onyx. It's amazing that the master even made cilia in front of his eyes, using thin copper. Chariot, the figures of horses and assistant charioteer were not preserved, but according to the fragments found, the scientists restored all possible composition. Choosing the right perspective, you can imagine how the statue looked originally.

In one of the halls we see a sculpture of the Sphinx. She guarded the city, towering above it on a ten-meter column. Mythological sphinx guarded the city of Thebes, he devoured people who wanted to get into the city, but did not know the correct answer to the riddle of the monster. The only one who managed to solve the riddle and penetrate the city was Oedipus. There is a legend linking this hero to the Delphic oracle (my post about the oracle here). We all know the history of King Oedipus, I will not retell it. But I was surprised to learn that the truth about who his parents were, Oedipus was learned from by the Delphic oracle. This story is incredible, but at the same time confirms the real existence and relationship of these characters.

In the halls of the museum of Delphi there are many statues, thanks to whom you can trace the development of the sculpture of Greece. The twins of the Kura represent an archaic period. They date from 610-580 BC, the author is Polymidi from Argos. For the sculpture of this period, the stiffness of the depicted movements, disproportionality is characteristic. They are very reminiscent of ancient Egyptian statues. There is one funny inaccuracy here: the left leg of the twins is pushed forward and bent at the knee, as if walking. If you mentally straighten leg, it will be longer than his right foot.

I also remember the mythological history of the Kuras. One day, their mother was going to present gifts to the supreme goddess Hera. She loaded the heavy cart and waited for the bulls to come to take the gifts to the temple. But the animals did not return from the fields on time, and instead of the bulls the Kuras brothers harnessed themselves into the cart. On their shoulders, the twins brought gifts to the temple. The locals were amazed by their strength and endurance, and advised the mother to ask Hera for valuable gifts for their sons. Mother listened to well-wishers and addressed with a request to Hera, and in the morning found the sons dead. The most valuable gift of Hera was a painless death in a dream.

After 100-120 years in the sculpture begins the classical period. It is represented by beautiful specimens - statues of the winners of Pythian games. By position and physical condition, you can easily determine in which sport these young people have won. Here the proportions are keep, we see the inertia of the movements, the elegance of the lines.

This statue of a young man belongs to the Roman period of sculpture. The outlines of his body are idealized, even feminine. And here is depicted Antinous - a favorite and companion of the Roman ruler Adrian. It is interesting that the face of this young handsome man is very often found in the finds of this period, it can be seen even on coins. The history of Antinous is quite sad. At that time it was believed that a young man could give his life years to a more senior person if he committed suicide. Antinous rushed from the ship and drowned in 130. Adrian created a whole cult in his honor, and even named city - Antinopolis.

I want to tell you about another interesting fact concerning the sculpture of ancient Greece. It turns out that almost all the statues and reliefs of the buildings were colored! Scientists, after a precise spectral analysis, found that the artists used a fairly bright and diverse in the range of mineral dyes. If you look closely, traces of dark red color can be seen now, for example, on this relief of the pediment of the temple.

It is the classical Greek painting of the terracotta period. I have already mentioned meander ornament. Initially, this broken line repeated the bends of the Meander River. Today this river is called the Great Menderes, you can find her photo, indeed, the curves are very similar. Meander is considered a symbol of eternity, a reflection of human life. Such an ornament can be found not only in sculpture and architecture, but also on clothes, vases, ornaments.

By the way, various gold ornaments, masks, precious details of furniture are also represented in the halls of the museum. I was struck by these richly decorated with vegetation ionic columns and sculptures of three girls. All these are gifts and offerings to the Pythian oracle in gratitude for the predictions.

In the museum there is another exhibit that has a direct relationship to it. It is a Roman copy of the "omphalos" - the stone that designates the center of the Earth. Set it in Delphi himself Zeus, determining the right place with the help of two eagles, launched to the west and east (my detailed post about this event). The sacred stone was in the basement of the temple of Apollo, where the oracle gave his predictions. The stone depicts a rope that is believed to be connected to Zeus. A thread stretched out of the stone, which lay in the hands of the Oracle, and he gave people messages from the gods.

And here is another gift for the Oracle - a silver bull in full size. This sculpture was brought from the island of Crete. I think you remember the history of the Minotaur and the reason why the bull became a symbol of the island. This bull statue is unique, there are only two or three exists in the whole world. Thin silver plates were attached to a wooden frame with iron rods, inside the sculpture bull was hollow. The hooves and muzzle of the animal are made of gold plates. This is an amazing work of art, it impresses the audience even today.

There are many interesting things in the museum. Men stay for a long time at the stands with weapons. Copper shields date back to the seventh century BC. I was amazed at their size, a large warrior could easily take refuge completely under such protection. The weapon was not only reliable, but also aesthetic. Helmets of soldiers are decorated with engraving, and on top of some of them a large crest was fixed all with the same meandering ornament.

Near the museum there are numerous souvenir shops. Traditionally, I lead a teapot from every trip, but in Greece it was a problem, I had to buy a miniature amphora. Pottery is quite expensive, supposedly handmade, with copies of ancient Greek drawings. And the original "cup" from the same museum looks like this. The correct name for this is the kilik. It was intended for wine and playing cottab, the purpose of which was a well-aimed spilling of wine into a large metal bowl. "Shot" wine was made from the lying position, the wine should not have splashed in flight, but to hit clearly on the target and produce a characteristic sound. The ancient cottab depicts Apollo, he gracefully plays the cithara on a musical instrument and sheds sacrificial blood. The black bird sitting opposite, according to one version, represents his beloved - Koronidu, on the other - is a symbol of prophecy. Perhaps this is the most frequently copied image of Apollo.

The deeper you plunge into the history of Ancient Greece and mythology, the more you want to know about it. Myths, legends and reality are so closely intertwined that sometimes you stop understanding it is a question of God, or of a real person. It's amazing and magical. I will continue to discover the secrets of Greece in the following posts.


My stories about traveling to Greece:

My picture of Apollo and the story of Greek mythology
How to buy your own "temple" in Greece
Flying monasteries of Greece

Text, photos and good mood - ©Copyright @marymik23 (23.05.2018)
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Thank you @travelfeed, I'm very happy.
Do I have to do something else? )

Потрясающе, все это делали когда-то человеческие руки....

Да, великие произведения искусства. На русском языке текст опубликован в следующем посте.

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I like your post, you display a good picture and writing that is easy to digest,.

Thank you! It is difficult for me to translate into English, I hope that everything was clear to you and you did not encounter mistakes )

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The statues look so alive as if they could start breathing and walking away at any moment.
Loved it! Your writing is wonderful and photos also, really felt I was there with you. ❤
Have you ever been to Gobekli Tepe? I've been so fascinated with it since I watched a documentary on tv a few years ago. :)

It is in Turkey? I have been in this country five or six times, there are many ancient cities and preserved antiquities. Chersonese, Mir, Demre I visited. But I have not been to Gobekli Tepe yet...

Yes, in Turkey. I never been there :(

Ну, вот, поздравляю! Вас заметили большие проекты и вознаградили! Спасибо за великолепное путешествие по музею!

Здравствуйте, рада видеть вас! Спасибо за поддержку!
Хотелось бы больше понимания, почему один пост замечают, а другой нет. Например, вот этот материал, на мой взгляд, более чем достойный. Ясно, что присутствует принцип лотереи, в связи с необходимостью поощрить многих. Видимо, именно в этом и заключается главный секрет.
В любом случае, интерес аудитории и даже разовые поощрения дают стимул к созданию дальнейших публикаций... ) Так что, продолжение следует ;)

What a beautiful tour @marymik23! You can really see the Egyptian influence in the kouroi, the mid-stride pose is almost exactly like in the depictions of Horus.
Can't wait until your next gallery tour!

Hello! Thanks for the comment! Continuation already exists. Today is a story about love and the last god of Ancient Greece...

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