Archaeology for Kids in Crete
We went to Kissamos, a small town just a half-hour easy drive from Chania in Crete. Our first is the archaeological museum featuring findings from the western part of Crete, mostly Polyrenia, Falasarna, and other smaller ancient towns of the area.
The museum was founded in 2005, and it is housed in a two-floor Venetian monument that once was hosting the Headquarters of the Governor of the area. On the ground floor, you will basically admire the findings from Ancient Falasarna and Polyrenia which flourished during the Hellenistic period as well findings from the prior Minoan era.
On the first floor, you will admire the mosaics that are in maintained very good condition from the Hellenistic period of the area, along with other findings, such as coins, amphoras, jewelry, and tomb findings.
After the museum, we visit Αrchaeolab, the only hands-on activity for archaeology for kids in Crete. A child’s paradise where for the next two hours the kids will enjoy making their own excavations.
We will meet Koula Bourboudaki, an archaeologist with a busy schedule who will welcome us and explain the project she is running.
Archaeolab offers kids the opportunity to experience an excavation process. The process of documentation and management of the archaeological finds, and to understand how archaeologists reconstruct the past, based on the findings.
Children are invited to bring an ancient Minoan premise to light. Following the instructions are given in order to follow the protocols of the archaeologists and do professional work. Kids are invited to reveal: architectural elements (walls/floor residues), storage jars and their contents, constructions.Utensils for the preparation and the production of the food (kitchen), wine press, loom residues, and treasure crypts.
In the process of excavation, kids practice various aspects of contemporary archaeological practice (backfill removal techniques, water, and dry sieve, findings sorting/classification, etc.). The sets of findings are revealed, the excavation process resembles the gradual solving of a mystery.
After the excavation, a second lab is taking place, where children are introduced to the art of pottery or other ecological practices. We were amazed to see the construction of a Neolithic house which was made by small children.
How to get there?
Archaeolab can be reached by car from Holiday House Cretan Sun via the E65 main road from Chania towards Kissamos, taking about 35 minutes. You can also take a taxi for an average fair of 30 – 40 Euro.
A local bus leaves from the Chania central bus station and the journey is 1,5 hours. Archaeolab address: Tompazi 16, Kissamos, Crete 73400, Greece.
Other Creative activities
Enjoy a day of arts and crafts at the magnificent Arolithos Traditional Cretan Village. Learn how to perform the ancient art of Mosaic in a 2-hour family workshop. Niki, showcasing some of her masterpieces, will talk about the art of mosaic and the theory of mosaics. You will learn about the materials used, the tools involved, and how they all come together. Once you have a proper foundation in the theory of how to mosaic, you will move on to the practice! You will be given the materials and the tools to make your own mosaic. Under the professional guidance of Niki, you will be able to make your own! Once you have finished your own mosaic, it will be yours . A beautiful souvenir to take home and show your friends.
For more details please check here.
Weaving Art Class
Another creative family activity in the same venue is learning about the ancient art of weaving. Boys and girls will also get the opportunity to take a mini-tour to the Museum of Rural History and Folk Craft for free. This tour is a must and will provide you with a lot of fascinating information about Cretan culture and history. Your course will begin by preparing the strings and making the fabrics. Kids will have the opportunity to see the wool production in a slide presentation, learn about the symbols and designs on the fabrics that get produced, and use a real weaving loom to practice your skill. They will be able to take a piece of decorated fabric home with you as a souvenir.