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Sunday, October 9, 2016

5,000 years of Greeks leave D.C. tomorrow

Queen Meda, the sixth wife of Phillip II of Macedon, wore this wreath of gold, 340-336 BC, found in the antechamber of Phillip II's tomb. She committed suicide when the king was assassinated and to honor her, the Macedonians buried her with him. Archaeological Museum of Aigai, Vergina/photo by Patricia Leslie

A magnificent presentation of 5,000 years of Greek history and culture with 500 objects, many which have never traveled outside Greece, is set to close Monday at D.C.'s National Geographic Museum, the only East Coast museum to present the exhibition. If you can't get there, here are a few artifacts and sculptures loaned by 22 Greek museums to dazzle you.
This may have been a serving platter or filled with water and used as a mirror. A longboat and foaming waves can be seen on this back side. During the Early Bronze Age (3300-2100 BC) longboats may have been the only means of transportation between islands in the Aegean Sea. Ceramic. Syros, 2800-2300 BC, National Archaeological Museum, Athens/photo by Patricia Leslie
This was probably sewn into a garment. Gold. Aravissos, 4500-3200 BC, Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki/photo by Patricia Leslie
Linear A tablets with Minoan script which have not been completely deciphered, but are believed to contain agricultural records  One of these is probably an inventory of a temple. Clay, Kydonia (Chania), around 1450 BC, Archaeological Museum of Chania/photo by Patricia Leslie
This is one of the oldest known Greek "crowns," a diadem worn by a ruler and featuring dogs which were sometimes buried with their owners.  It was found in Tomb II in the cemetery at Mochlos. Gold, 2600-2100 BC, Archaeological Museum of Heraklion/photo by Patricia Leslie
Probably a priestess between 25 and 35 years old from Mycenae was buried with these gold items which include designs of butterflies and flowers. Circle A, Grave III, Second half of the 16th century, BC, National Archaeological Museum, Athens/photo by Patricia Leslie
A jug, cups, dagger, and clothing ornaments are among the items found in a grave of two men, discovered through DNA analysis to be related. Ceramic, bronze, and gold, Mycenae, Circle A, Grave VI, Second half of the 16th century, BC, National Archaeological Museum, Athens/photo by Patricia Leslie
Items found in the grave of a high priestess. Terracotta, ceramics, gold, silver, glass, Archontiko, 540-530 BC, Archaeological Museum of Pelia/photo by Patricia Leslie
Gold funerary masks and helmets found in the graves of elite warriors who may have worn the helmets in life. Bronze and gold, Archontiko, mid-sixth century, BC, Archaeological Museum of Pelia/photo by Patricia Leslie
Fragment of a large vase showing Odysseus and his troops piecing the remaining eye of the Cyclops Polyphemus to escape entrapment in a cave where the cyclops is eating the men, two by two. Ceramic, Argos, 670-650 BC, Archaeological Museum of Argos/photo by Patricia Leslie
Homer, from a Roman-era copy of the Greek original, around 300 BC.  No known images of the poet from his lifetime exist, but many were fashioned between the fifth to second centuries, BC. Pentelic marble, National Archaeological Museum, Athens/photo by Patricia Leslie
The King of Sparta, Leonidas (540-480 BC) is associated with this bust. Leonidas issued the challenge "come and get them" to the Persians when they demanded his troops' weapons. Members of the Spartan military wore beards with no mustaches.  Found at the Acropolis of Sparta. Parian marble, 480-470 BC, Archaeological Museum of Sparta/photo by Patricia Leslie
Sculpture of an athlete found on the southeast side of the Parthenon, the largest and most important temple in Athens.  Parian marble. 450-440 BC, Acropolis Museum, Athens/photo by Patricia Leslie
The head of the woman on the left was once considered to be one of the Parthenon metopes which depicted scenes from mythical battles, but analysis revealed her "style" came later, from the late or later than the fifth century, BC. The sculpture on the right (447-438 BC) was from the Parthenon and partially destroyed in the Great Turkish War of 1687. Her remains are undiscovered. Both pentelic marble, Epigraphic Museum, Athens
/photo by Patricia Leslie
Phillip II may have worn this gold and silver diadem when he was assassinated in 336 BC at his daughter's wedding, stabbed by one of his bodyguards who may have conspired with  one of the king's wives, Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great, 340-300 BC, Archaeological Museum of Aigai, Vergina/photo by Patricia Leslie

Who:  The Greeks:  Agamemnon to Alexander the Great

When:  Now through OT 10, 2016, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 5 p.m.

Where:  National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th St., NW, Washington, DC, 20036

How much (buy tickets here): Adults, $15; Subscribers, Military, Seniors (over 62) and Students over age 12, $12; Children, ages 5 -12, $10; Local school and youth groups, ages 18 and under, and annual pass holders, free

Metro stations:  Farragut North or Farragut West

For more information:  202-857-7700

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