The Archaeological Museum of Chania was established in 1963 and is located in the former Venetian monastery of St Francis at 25 Chalidon street in Chania city. The museum’s collection includes finds which have been excavated from various sites of the prefecture of Chania during the last 50 years. At the eastern part of the building, showcases contain finds of the Prehistoric era whereas on the western side finds date from the Geometric up to the Roman era. All finds are exhibited according to theme or site where they were found.
Starting the tour from the eastern side, exhibits date from the Neolithic to the Late Minoan era. Most finds come from Plativolas cave. Neolithic finds from caves are exhibited in other parts of the museum as well. Caves continued to be used during the Minoan era but as sacred places rather than for habitation and Neolithic remains were used in cult activities.
Excavations at the Kasteli hill, which lies in the heart of the modern city of Chania, uncovered finds that date from 3000BC to 1100BC. These finds are exhibited in several showcases. Some of them are connected with settlements of the Early Minoan era. It is presumed that these settlements were in contact with the palaces or that a palace remains uncovered under Chania city. Other exhibits show the Mycenaean occupation after 1450BC, when the palaces on the whole island were destroyed and so did the Kasteli settlement.
On the western part of the museum, finds of the Geometric era are few and mainly come from cemeteries. Archaic and Classical finds come from Axos village in Mylopotamos, Falasarna, Agia Roumeli and Cydonia – at the site of the modern-day Chania city. Jewelry and other impressive finds of the Hellenistic and Roman era come from tombs. Clay figurines from a Hellenistic workshop of Alexandria show the contacts among the two areas. Most clay figurines come from the Asklepieion in Lissos.