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It was formed at the end of the 19th century, when philanthropic residents of the city founded the Ierapetra Educational Association, with the aim of collecting and preserving the area's antiquities and creating a museum collection. Those objects of this first core were saved from constant looting and destruction and those gathered from newer traditions and excavations in the area of the Municipality of Ierapetra, dating from the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. until the 5th c. BC, they recommend the Archaeological Collection of Ierapetra, which today is housed in the preserved building of the Ottoman School or Mehtepi, built in 1899.
From the important Proto-Minoan settlement on the hill of Fournos Korifi Myrtos (2900-2200 BC) come the earliest exhibits of the collection, vases representative of the most important rhythms of ceramics of the Early Bronze Age in Crete, stone tools and ceramic wheels. Three urns and part of the fifty vases from a rich chamber tomb near the village of Episkopi constitute a typical burial complex of the Late Minoan III period (1440-1050 BC).
A built box-shaped tomb from the cemetery in Vronta (late 8th-early 7th century BC) was represented in a room of the collection. An adult and a child aged 7-14 had been cremated in it.
The collection exhibits inscriptions from the Hellenistic and Roman eras, with the most important for the history of the city being a 3rd century BC stele with the text of the treaty between the Ierapytnians and King Antigonus - probably Dosonos (229-220 BC) - of Macedonia on one side and the treaty of equal state with the city of Arcadians in central Crete on the other. Marble sculptures from Ierapetra constitute the most important collection of sculptures in eastern Crete and prove the prosperity of the city during the Roman period. A prominent position is occupied by the marble statue of Demeter-Isis, dated to the 2nd century. A.D. from an original of the 4th c. BC.
Editor: Niki Kalopaidis