I visited both the archaeological and the ethnographic museum in Paphos which were both excellent, but very different.
The archaeological one, like its counterpart in Larnaca, was really well interpreted. The various displays were informative, and there was very clear signage, with illustrations and some great mock ups of things like burial pits and kitchens.
It made the whole of the experience really interesting, something I have not really found with previous Neolithic collections. I loved this display of different sized needles, the smallest was about an inch long.
One of the most interesting, and unique, was this set of terracotta hot water bottles, shaped to fit various parts of the body. They dated from the Roman era and were fascinating. Not so very different from what I do now when I’ve got a bad back!
The timeline display made it easy to follow the development of things like the pottery, and the way that devotional figures were used, and it made it a very interesting experience. You really got a sense of the people who had made these things.
The second museum was the Ethnographic Museum, which is in the centre of the town. It is the collection of one man, George Eliades, who in 1958 opened his home to show off his collection to the public.
It is an amazing place to visit, not only to look around a traditional house, with room underneath to store wagons, and I assume stable horses. There is also space for workshops, one of the rooms was set up as a weaving workshop.
Outside there is a millstone, and a bread oven, water troughs and underground storage.
Three of the upstairs rooms are open, the library, dining room and entrance hall, all crammed with textiles and collections.
It is a beautifully eclectic place, a huge contrast to the carefully displayed and interpreted archaeological museum, but what a fascinating place.
As always my favourite part was the textile collection. There were some gorgeous woven hangings in the upper rooms.
One of the lower ground floor rooms was set out as a bedroom, with hanging garments and some splendid and unusual seat covers made of pointed scraps.
The interpretation was limited to framed information taken from reference books, and some photos like this one of a woman spinning.
However, it was the sheer enthusiasm of the original collector, and his family in keeping his collection, that was the real star of the place. It was an amazing collection and I am so glad that it has been preserved by them.
Both types of museums have a place to play in heritage, they represent very different aspects, and both have their merits and disadvantages. I am so glad that I have the chance to visit all of these wonderful places.
I am now back at Ellen’s for a little while, leaving Katy behind at my sister’s until July. I have been spending a lovely afternoon booking my campsites for the summer, and my channel tunnel crossing 🙂
I am so excited for that, and for all the lovely adventures yet to come. It will be great to get back to Spain, especially as I am going to do lots of research on my trip through France and Spain in October when I return to Spain.
I hope that you all are looking forward to the rest of the year, it really doesn’t seem possible that it is another season here in the UK, time is going so fast. I hope you are enjoying whatever you are doing, and are able to plan nice things for the months ahead. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.