The collection was founded at the end of the 19th century, during the Turkish occupation of Crete
and was housed in several buildings in the past. Today it is housed in the building of the Commercial Ottoman
School, which is protected by a preservation order, and has been ceded to the Ministry of Culture by the Municipality
The collection includes:
• Minoan art: painted sarcophagi, lamps, Late Minoan III (1400-1200 BC) pottery, mostly stirrup jars and kraters.
• Geometric figurines and pottery (9th-8th century BC).
• Archaic art: figurines and relief plaques of the late 7th and 6th centuries BC.
• Classical and Hellenistic pottery and figurines from the end of the 1st century BC until the 4th century AD.
• Roman reliefs and statues.
• Funerary and votive inscriptions of the ancient Greek and Roman times.
The most important exhibits of the museum include the following: Clay sarcophagus. It was found in a rock-cut, horseshoe-shaped tomb in the area of
Episkope at Hierapetra and dates to 1450-1400 BC. It is cist-shaped,
with a saddled lid, crowned with a bull-head and a human figurine. The painted decoration covers all the sides of the sarcophagus
and includes scenes of outdoors everyday life, placed in frames. Stone stele from Hierapytna (modern Hierapetra). It is made of black limestone and dates to the Roman period.
The largest part is preserved, made up of four pieces. It is inscribed on both sides: on the first is recorded the treaty of Hierapetra and Antigonos,
the king of Macedonia; on the other is a document of "isopoliteia" with the people of Arcadia. Honorary inscription. It was erected to commemorate the honouring by the city of Hierapytna of Titus Claudius
Aristagoras who was proclaimed protector of the interests of the Demos because he repaired the building of the Public Archives at his own expense. Red-figure amphora from Manoliana of Hierapetra, dated to the 4th century BC. It is preserved in very good condition.
The shoulder is decorated with palmettes, while both sides of the body bear interesting representations in red paint: on the first, the preparation of a warrior,
assisted by a woman, and attended by an older man, possibly a teacher; on the other, two male figures walking towards a third man. Clay plastic vase. It represents a grotesque figure of a crouching old man. He has an extremely large head, a long beard, a
huge swollen belly and very short legs which can hardly bear his weight. The rim of the vase is on the top of the head. Minoan axe mould. It is made of steatite and is preserved in two pieces. The polished surface has been elaborately cut to form
an almost rectangular recess with the appropriate curves of the axe's edges. Judging from the shape and the dimensions, it seems that it was a tool and not a
weapon. Marble statue of a standing female figure who steps on a plinth (h. 1.57 m.). It is dated to the Roman period and comes from a seizure
of antiquities. She wears a long chiton and a himation which also covers the head. She holds an ear of wheat in one hand while the other is bent. On the head she
bears a diadem decorated with two snakes. Marble headless statue of a woman (h. 1.38 m.) from the area of the ancient theatre at Viglia, near Hierapetra. The statue stands
on a cylindrical plinth made of the same piece of marble. The figure leans on the left foot and slightly bends the right. A long himation with many folds covers
the body and falls diagonally on the chest, while a long chiton is seen in the lower part. One arm is preserved while the other has been broken. Dated to the
Roman period. Marble statuette from Viglia (h. 0.58 m.). It represents a (probably) male figure standing on a podium. The figure is dressed in long chiton
and mantle, and only two of the curls of the hair are preserved. The man holds a lyre in the left hand, a feature probably leading to the identification with god Apollo
represented as kitharodos, in the type of Mousagetes (leader of the Muses). Dated to the Roman period. Marble head of a man (h. 0.40 m.). It belongs to a statue larger-than-life, and was found in the area of the ancient theatre at Viglia.
The short hair ends in tongues on the forehead. The lips are fleshy, while the eyebrows and the ears are very stretched by the artist. Dated to the Roman period.