Bologna Museo Civico Archeologico 2
About Museo Civico Archeologico 2
Museum of Archeology
Located in the courtyard is the lapidary exhibits containing Roman tombstones dating between the mid 1st century BC and mid 2nd century AD. A few in particular are those with portraits of the Cornelli, Alennii and Furvi families. Other tombstones display Greek, Christian and Coptic inscriptions. Most of them were discovered in 1894 around Bologna’s so-called Reno Wall which acted as a flood barrier against the Reno River.
This room, still on the ground floor, contains a complete gallery of plaster casts of famous Greek and Roman sculptures.
In terms of documented history perhaps the best collection can be experienced here through Bologna during the Etruscan age. Thousands of catalogued findings date from 9-8th BC, referring to the Villanovan period. Discovered tombs brought to light terracotta and bronze ossuaries which contained figurative decorations on rare vases. Ornaments, pottery and weapons were also found and quite clearly showed evidence of past civilisations having existed within the modern walls of Bologna city.
Most of the items were discovered around the late 19th to early 20th century by chance around excavation sites. This coincided with Bologna’s role in helping to create the study of palaeontology.
In the mid 19th century French and Swiss scientists encouraged their Italian counterparts to explore ancient settlements on the shores of the Lombard Lakes.
Italian naturalists at the time such as Giuseppe Scarabelli, Gaetano Chierici, Luigi Pigorini and Pelligrini Strobel soon discovered vast areas of other historic sites and this in turn created great interest and hence more eager scientists joined this new revolution of digging their way into the past.
Between 1871-81 excavations around Bologna were intensified. Zannoni established the Archaeological Society in 1873 and during this period also many archaeological discoveries were made around Bologna. For example, 991 tombs mostly from the Villanovan period were found although some were also from the Gallic and Roman periods. Etruscan tombs were also discovered in the Marguerite Park during this same huge scale excavation project.
The Villanovan Culture was defined by Giovanni Gozzadini as the most advanced stage of Iron Age demonstrated by many items discovered in Tuscany in a village called Villanova.
Alongside Zannoni and Gozzadini was another influential figure called Edoardo Brizio who was held in high esteem for his studies in liberal arts. He brought with him a new perspective regarding antiquities and soon established a reputation for his work covering prehistoric and proto-historic periods.