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The museum's most valued holding is a fragment of the Parian Chronicle, an ancient chronology. The Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University has a larger portion of the chronicle, which is carved on Parian marble tablets. Why is it so important? Because it lists dates for actual and mythical events from the time of Cecrops until about 260 B.C. Cecrops was the legendary first king of Athens, whose dates -- indeed, existence -- cannot be proven. Just to confuse and irritate historians, the chronicle gives information about artists, poets, and playwrights -- but doesn't bother to mention many important political leaders or battles. The museum also contains a number of sculptural fragments as well as a splendid running Gorgon (with a delicate incised border on its skirt) and a Winged Victory from the 5th century B.C. There's also part of a marble monument with a frieze of Archilochus, the 7th-century-B.C. lyric poet, known as the inventor of iambic meter and for his ironic detachment. ("What breaks me, young friend, is tasteless desire, lifeless verse, boring dinners.") The courtyard has lots of marble monuments (and excellent toilet facilities).