This year the Acropolis Museum has launched a series of temporary, thematic exhibitions featuring important works of the ancient world from major sites located all around Greece. The aim is to present unusual subjects of interest to its daily visitors, as well as to pique their curiosity for actually visiting the unique places presented in the exhibitions. The first thematic exhibition in the series concerns the famous mysteries of the Great Gods of Samothrace, who were honoured with magnificent buildings donated to the sanctuary by the rulers of the Hellenistic kingdoms. The worship of gods in antiquity was generally an open, public practice. From early times, however, mystery cults also arose, which were accessible only to those who had been accepted into the rites following certain trials. The strict directives to initiates to maintain complete secrecy over the affairs of the mysteries have left little chance today of recovering much information about these ancient cults. In Samothrace, however, excavations in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods have brought to light ritual buildings and cult equipment that allow us to begin forming a clearer picture. A total of 252 artefacts (architectural members, sculptures, vases, figurines, inscriptions, small finds) are presented in groups based on their connections to the sanctuary's buildings. The exhibition has been organized by the Acropolis Museum in collaboration with the Ephorates of Antiquities of Rodopi and Evros. The extensive experience of Mr. Dimitris Matsas, who devoted much of his archaeological career to Samothrace, has greatly contributed to the exhibition’s fruition.
Samothrace – the island of Aiolos, according to mythology – arises from the midst of the Thracian Gulf, crowned by the imposing Mount Saos, the Aegean Sea’s highest mountain. Here, Homer relates, the god Poseidon sat observing the unfolding Trojan War to the east. This sacred mountain of antiquity, with its wild peaks, as well as the island’s pebbly beaches, flowing streams, untouched nature, famous thermal springs, unique antiquities and a jewel of a Chora (main town), altogether inspire the charm of this mysterious place.
In conjunction with the temporary exhibition, the Acropolis Museum is organizing a photo competition on Instagram. The Museum invites the public to jointly create their own digital exhibition #MySamothrakiExhibition – a gallery of photos in which experiences from Samothrace meet the island’s archaeological mysteries.
How to participate
Did you discover the mysteries of Samothrace?
Did you go mountain climbing or take a hike?
Did you go camping with your group?
Did you dive in the mountain pools or the sea?
Did you try the local food?
Upload photos of your experiences to Instagram using the hashtag #MySamothrakiExhibition and one of the following 5 categories which best suits your images: #MySamothrakiMysteries, #MySamothrakiClimbing, #MySamothrakiCamping, #MySamothrakiSwimming, #MySamothrakiEating.
Take part in the photo competition and win gifts from the Museum's shops, attend an evening presentation by our Archaeologist-Hosts on the temporary exhibition “Samothrace. The Mysteries of the Great Gods” or enjoy a meal of special flavours from Samothrace in the Museum’s restaurant. For more information on the competition, follow us on Instagram @theacropolismuseum.