A walk in the oldest lake settlement in Greece
In Dispilio, Kastoria, one of Europe's oldest and most significant Neolithic lake settlements, was discovered in 1932.
The Open-Air Museum of Dispilio will take you back in time and give you an idea of what a Neolithic village by the lake might have looked like about 7,500 years ago.
It was created in 1997-99 as a supplement to the excavations of the adjacent Neolithic settlement carried out by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki from 1992 until today. The idea for an Open Museum was by G. Ch. Chourmouziadis, Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and excavation director until he died in 2013. Prof Chourmouziadis supervised the team of his associate archaeologists and students of AUTH who enthusiastically carried out the project. The Open-Air Museum aimed to represent a direct, tangible, and experiential picture of Neolithic life, always based on archaeological research findings.
The excavation of Dispilio was the main inspiration. Still, the reconstruction also uses elements of the area's Neolithic culture to present a complete picture of the settlement by the lake, as far as possible. The exhibits are copies of the original Neolithic artifacts from the Dispilio excavation. They are grouped according to specific activities (e.g., cooking, storage) so that it will be easy for the visitor to understand their role and function immediately.
The Open-Air Museum was implemented in the framework of the European Leader Program. The project promoters were the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Municipality of Kastoria. The management of the Open-Air Museum is the responsibility of the Municipality of Kastoria and MAKEDNOS SA. The restoration of the Open-Air Museum was completed in December 2022, within the framework of the European Leader/Authentikk Program.