On the ground floor of the old building, in the northern room, there is a display
of pottery of the prehistoric, Geometric, and Archaic periods, found during excavations at
the Heraion, together with examples of prehistoric tools. The southern room contains an
exhibition of selected finds of pottery, small bronze objects, limestone model houses, the
famous relief with the cupids, decrees and other inscriptions, coins, and examples of different
types of amphora found at the sanctuary.
In the antechamber of the ground floor massive marble sculptures can be seen.
On the first floor, in its antechamber, is a famous relief of a young man holding a staff, a work of the 5th century B.C., and the unique collection of wooden figurines and models of ships which came to light in the digs at the Heraion in recent years.
The northern room on the first floor contains an impressive and unique collection of hammer - beaten or cast bronze griffins which adorned bronze cauldrons dedicated as votary offerings. An important place among the votary offerings is occupied by the bronze figurines of " kouroi " ( youths ) and " korai " ( girls ), the valuable vessels, and the iron spits.
The bronze statuette of a god of the 8th - 7th century B.C. from Armenia ( height 21.3 cm. ), the bronze statuette of a suppliant with his dog, of the 8th - 7th century B.C., from Babylon, the bronze wild goat of the 8th century B.C. from Iran, the bronze side piece from a horse's bridle ( 8th century B.C. ) from Assyria, the bronze statuette of an Egyptian goddess, and many other items are all testimony to the reputation which this sanctuary of Hera enjoyed to the ends of the earth and to the large influx of pilgrims.
In the southern room on the first floor we can see ivory poppies and pomegranates of the 7th century B.C., offerings to Hera as goddess of fertility, clay heads of cattle and figurines of human forms, and pottery of the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. Particularly striking are the miniature art objects from the sanctuary. We draw attention to a few of these : the ivory relief showing Perseus killing Medusa in the presence of the goddess Athena, of the 7th century B.C., the Western Phoenician ivory comb, also of the 7th century B.C., the ivory lion, and the famous " lyre player ", part of a lyre which shows a youth leaping in a dance, also of the 7th century B.C.
The collection of Geometric figurines and that of heads from male and female figures from Cyprus of the 7th and 6th centuries B.C. are important.
In the first room of the sculpture collection we can see architectural members from the Heraion. These include a marble capital of the Archaic period in very good condition. A ground plan of the sanctuary is displayed to help the visitor to understand the layout of the ancient buildings in the area.
A large room contains sculptures in the " severe " style and from the Archaic period.
Particular attention should be drawn to :
1. The headless marble statue of a clothed female figure, dating from 570 B.C., an offering of Charamyes to Hera, as we are informed by an inscription engraved on the drapery. This statue is identical with another which is on display in the Louvre in Paris, which also comes from the Samos Heraion.
2. The headless trunk of a marble kouros, one of the most perfect examples of Archaic sculpture, known as the Kouros of Leucius.
An inscription engraved on the thigh informs us that it was dedicated to the god Apollo.
3. The Geneleos Group. This is a group of six figures - father, mother and their four children, a work of Geneleos, according to an inscriptin on the seated figure, Phileia. Each of the figures which has survived has an inscription stating its name : Philippe, Ornide ( the Samos Museum has a cast - the original is in Berlin ), and [ ... ] arches ( probably the founder who dedicated the work to Hera ).
The work dates from c. 560 - 550 B.C.
A copy of the group has been set up in the Heraion, where the first ancient stepped base is preserved.
On the northern side of the room is part of the trunk of a more than life - size kouros, the head of which is a copy of the original, which is in the Constantinople Museum.
Kouros of Samos.
The last room of the building is dominated by the colossal Kouros of Samos, three times life - size, dedicated to Hera by a certain ISCHES,
as the inscription on the left thigh : " ISCHES ORESIOS DEDICATED THIS ".
This unique work of Archaic art was found during excavations on the site of the Sacred Way to the east of the Heraion during the years 1980 - 1984.
It was one of the 5 - 6 collosal kouroi which adorned the northern side of the road which led from the ancient city of Samos to the sanctuary. The south side was occupied by inscribed decrees.