About the Anthropological Museum of Petralona
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Thanks to financing from the Anthropological Society of Greece, the Anthropological Museum of Petralona, which is located in Halkidiki, Greece first welcomed guests in 1979. Conceived as a showcase for objects discovered in the nearby Petralona cave, the museum celebrates Greece’s palaeoanthropological record. It’s filled with a trove of artifacts, in addition to murals of prehistoric scenes and recreations of important archeological sites.
What To Do at the Anthropological Museum of Petralona
Standout exhibits at the Anthropological Museum of Petralona include a replica of the Archanthropus europeus petralonsiensis mausoleum, in addition to the oldest known traces of fire from over a million years ago! Stone and bone tools dating back 11 million years and fossilized animals from the Mesozoic era are also on display.
Several large-scale paintings by folk artist Christos Kagaras brighten up the gallery space. One depicts an early Homininae teaching children how to make tools. Another illustrates Aristotle’s theory on the evolution of life.
In addition to the museum, guests can also sign up for tours of the famous Petralona cave, also known as the Cave of the Red Stones. A hiker named Philippos Chatzaridis discovered the natural grotto in 1959 after erosion exposed it. The following year a villager named Christos Sariannidis stumbled upon a fossilized skull in the cave’s stalagmite. Scientists believe the prehistoric cranium is over 700,000 years old and once belonged to a primate genus unrelated to Homo erectus that lost the evolutionary race.
When you’re done exploring Petralona and its archeological jewels, carve out a few hours to catch some rays on one of the nearby Halkidiki beaches, where soft golden sands give way to crystalline blue waters.
Getting to the Anthropological Museum of Petralona
The Anthropological Museum of Petralona is about two kilometers outside the village center, and visitors can get there several ways. In terms of public transportation, a daily bus shuttles between Thessaloniki and Petralona. Travel time is about one hour. A taxi to the museum from Thessaloniki typically costs over 50 euros. If you want to engage a cab to stay for two hours while you explore the space, your final bill could easily be upwards of 200 euros.
Another option is booking a tour through an area hotel. Since they’re group excursions, the price is usually more reasonable than a cab. The last alternative is renting a car. If you choose this route, make sure to have the proper insurance and driving credentials.
The Anthropological Museum of Petralona is a must-see site for anyone interested in prehistoric humans and the Earth’s geological footprint. But don’t forget to wear comfortable and safe shoes! You’ll appreciate the firm footing when cave-side.
This post was written by Greek Boston