The Archaeology Museum of Samothrace is in Paleopoli, 6 kilometers away from Kamariotissa, right near the archaeological site. It is a small four room building, erected by the American School of Classical Studies of Athens between 1939 and 1955. It is worth a visit if you want to better understand the history of the island. What is the connection with the Americans? Well, in the 20th century the American School of Archaeology did some diggins on the island and found the most of the exhibits which the museum presents today. The rest were accidental discoveries of the people on the island or donations of the Samothracian scholar Nikolas Fardis. A new wing was added between 1960-1961, built after the plans of Stuart M. Shaw from the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York. Presently the Archaeology Museum is funded by the Greek state.
Room A is the first, central room and it exhibits restored parts of the main buildings of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods. A part of the Rotunda of Arsinoe, with bulls and rosette decorations draws the attention. Very interesting is also the marble column coming from the palace (1st century A.D.), on which a bilingual inscription, in Greek and Latin prohibited the access of the non initiates to the altar.
Other parts of the buildings of the sanctuary, sculptures and coins are exhibited in room B. Search for the marble frieze of dancing women (probably the muses) which probably dates from 340 B.C. Parts of the Propylon of Ptolemy II, the marble bust of Tiresias (about 460 B.C.), a headless statue (probably Persephone) and various coins also draw the attention.
The third room (C) exhibits ceramic objects, offerings and metal objects, among which a golden Persian lion brooch dating from the 5th century B.C. One can also admire an incomplete statue of Nike (the head and parts of the left wing and arm were lost), discovered by Phyllis Williams Lehmann from the American School of Classical Studies in 1949. Phyllis was the wife of the archaeologist Karl Lehmann, head of the Samothrace excavations between 1938 and 1960.
Room D hosts the full-sized copy of Nike (you can challenge your imagination trying to imagine her in the Sanctuary) and funerary vessel, jewels (golden and silver earrings, silver fibulae, rings, diadems and a golden necklace) and silver coins which were found in the necropolis. Very valuable is an amphora which the participants at the Panathenaic games used to receive as a prize. It was probably painted in the Efilitos' workshop around 525 B.C. and it depicts a race on the front and the armed goddess Athena on the back.
An inscription exhibition is hosted in the lobby.
The museum is open daily, between 8.30 a.m. and 15.00 p.m. The ticket price is 6 Euro.
Phone: (+30) 255 104 1474
2018 Update: The Archaeology Museum was closed for restoration and for the moment we don't know when it will reopen.