To the right of the museum’s entrance, a topographical map introduces the visitor to the archaeological site of Eleutherna, whereas texts present the area’s history and excavations.
Standing before the entrance is the museum’s emblematic piece: a bronze shield from the Tomb of the Warriors dating to 830/20-730/20 BC. This shield belongs to a type known through several examples from the pan-Cretan sanctuary of the Idaion Andron and other sites (hence the name ‘Idaion Andron shield’), but is the only example from a well-stratified context.
One of the earliest objects of this kind, it is also one of the finest specimens of early Cretan art at the dawn of Greek civilization, related in one way or another to North Syria and Urartu. Next to the shield are modern casts for educational purposes and for those visitors who wish to explore it through touch.