The long archaeological and historical research at the Sitia area has brought to light rare and valuable finds and information of all civilizations from the Neolithic Age and the Minoan period to the New Age. The civilizations that have flourished the grounds of Sitia, one of the richest areas in archaeological sites internationally have bequeathed us magnificent samples of material and intellectual wealth that are exhibited in the district Museums and Collections.
One of the most important Cretan Museums is located in the Sitia town. In the town’s archaeological museum are placed important finds of Minoan Civilization and other archaic Cretan civilizations. Unique exhibits of the excavations in Zakros, Mochlos, Psira, Palekastro, Itanos, Agia Fotia and other significant Minoan hubs in central Crete present a new experience for the visitor. Many of the exhibits refer to the olive, the vine cutlery, fishing bee- keeping as to other sectors of rural activity.
There are important folklore museums in Chamezi and Palekastro and minor folklore collections in Chandra and Pefkoi. In spaces fit out for exhibitions you find items that represent the Cretan folk culture and the rural and pastoral life. Three kilometers in the east of Sitia next to the Road to TOPLOU – Vai is built by the Sitia touring Club a large and well equipped Centre of Traditional Culture with Folklore Collections, Art Workshops, show rooms – selling points- rooms for trying local products, cinemas, multiple purpose halls, exhibition halls etc.
The Palekastro Kouros
This chryselephantine statuette of a young man is a masterpiece of Minoan art. It was made of at least eight pieces, which were pinned together using wooden dowels, now lost. The body, carved from a hippopotamus tooth, is delicately worked to show the anatomical details of the hands and legs.
The Minoan zoma (loincloth or kilt), sandals and possibly a bracelet, were all made of gold sheet. The hairpiece is made of serpentinite, and the eyes of rock crystal. The statuette’s wooden base, now lost, was covered in ‘Egyptian blue’ (a kind of glass paste) speckled with tiny gold discs. This figure was deliberately smashed during the pillage and arson of the Palaikastro town shrine (Building 5) in the Late Minoan I period.
It is recomposed from hundreds of tiny pieces, which were recovered during three separate excavation campaigns. Made in Crete, this statuette displays strong Egyptian influences in its manufacturing techniques, materials and proportions.
Date: Late Bronze Age, 1480 – 1425 BC
Place of discovery: Palaikastro, Building 5, sanctuary of the city of Palaikastro
Dimensions: width: max 0,185 m, height: 0,54 m
Material: Serpentine, Tooth of hippopotamus
Inventory number: ΜΣ ΑΕ 8506
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
-Mac Gillivray J.A., Sackett L.H., Driessen J.M., “The Palaikastro Kouros, a Minoan Chryselephantine Statuette and its Aegean Bronze Age Context”, BSA Studies, (1999)
-Mac Gillivray J.A., “Ο Κούρος του Παλαικάστρου” στο Κρήτη-Αίγυπτος. Πολιτισμικοί δεσμοί τριών χιλιετιών: κατάλογος έκθεσης: Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ηρακλείου, 21 Νοεμβρίου 1999-21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2000, Ηράκλειο, 2000, 300, αρ. 294