This history of the art not only of ancient Athens but of all of Greece can be seen in the halls of the National Archaeological Museum, housed in a neo-Classical building constructed in the nineteenth century. The prehistoric collection is in rooms 4,5 and 6 on the ground floor. Room 5 has Neolithic finds, Room 6 artefacts of the Cycladic civilization, and Room 4 the stunning finds from Mycenae itself and other Mycenean sites. In Room 7-13 we see the way in which sculpture evolved during the Archaic period. Of special interest are the kouroi, superb examples of Archaic art (the kouroi of Sunium, Anavyssos and Pto’n, the young Aristodicus). An important collection of funerary and commemorative stelae from the Classical period is on display in Rooms 14, 16, 17 and 18, while Room 15 is dominated by the wonderful bronze statue of Poseidon (or Zeus) found in the sea off Cape Artemisium and attributed to the sculptor Calamis (severe style).
Among the most striking exhibits in Room 21 is the Diadoumenos, a Late Hellenistic copy of an important lost work by Polyclitus. Room 22 is given over to sculptures from the temple of Asclepius and the Tholos at Epidaurus (4th century BC). Rooms 23-28 contain characteristic examples of the funerary stelae of the fourth century BC. In the centre of Room 27 is a bronze statue of a youth found in the sea off Anticythera and influenced by the art of Polyclitus (340 BC). Hellenistic sculpture occupies Rooms 29-30, and an interesting Roman collection has recently been installed in Room 31-33. the bronze exhibits in the Museum are concentrated in Rooms 36-37, and are notable for their wide typological variety and the skill of their miniature depictions. Note, in particular, the outstanding bronze statue of a youth, or possibly of Hermes (4th century BC), found at Marathon. In Rooms 49-56, on the upper floor, is a vast collection of pottery covering the era from Geometric period to the 4th century BC, including some of the finest examples of black-figure and red-figure vases to be seen anywhere in the world. Room 48 contains a prehistoric collection of the greatest importance, consisting of the pottery and wall-paintings from the settlement at Acrotiri on Thera (1550-1500 BC).
More examples of the art of the prehistoric era are to be seen in the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art, which as the name suggests, concentrates primarily on the artifacts of the Cycladic civilization. The Numismatic Museum of Athens is housed in the Troy House (Iliou Melathron), built by Ernst Ziller as the residence of Heinrich Schliemann. Important collections of works from the prehistoric period to the time of Byzantium are also to be seen in the Kanellopoulos Museum and the Benaki Museum.