Last Updated on September 10, 2020 by Celeste
Archaeology for kids doesn’t have to be a boring combination. Read on about our experience in Archaeolab.
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 which 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.
Archaeology for kids in Crete
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, jewellery, 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.
Archaeology at Archaeolab
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 and 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.) and as 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.
Besides excavation, there are also workshops about the Minoan cuisine, the art of mosaic, and palaeography. Similar labs will open soon in Athens, Patras and Thessaloniki.
Don’t miss the opportunity for something so unique. This place for archaeology for kids in Crete is great. You will never have felt better seeing your children so dusty and proud! – Anastasia
How to get there from Chania
Archaeolab can be reached by car 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 or by
Information and booking
For more information about opening hours and for reserving a small group place in one of the workshops are Archaeolab, please visit the website: www.archaeolab.gr.
Private Be an archaeologist for a day: Excavation & Mosaic Tour
Be an archaeologist for a day and dig together with your family into a Minoan house. Using a combination of Minoan artefacts and fossils buried in the sand, you will reconstruct history and learn about archaeology and Minoan civilization. You will also make your own mosaic. This private activity is 3 hours. Included are all materials for the mosaic art project and an expert guide for the excavation activity.
For booking this private activity, please email [email protected]
Where to stay
Crete is a great island for families with much choice in family friendly accommodation styles from luxury resorts to private vacation villas. We have listed some of our recommended areas and family hotels in Crete in this blog post: Where to stay in Crete with Kids
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