Friday, January 16, 2015



Founded by Gregory XVI Cappellari (1831/46) in 1837
Objects found during excavations since 1828 in southern Etruria, then part of the Papal State

After 1870, there were few acquisitions of archaeological collections, but all important such as the Collection Falcioni (1898), the donations of Benedetto Guglielmi (1935) and Mario Astarita (1967), and the purchase of the Giacinto Guglielmi's collection (1987)

The museum is located along the Gregorian Egyptian Museum in the Palace of Innocent VIII Cybo (1484/1492) about 1487 by Giacomo da Pietrasanta and in the annex building of the time of Pius IV Medici (1559/65)


Room I - Protohistory

First Iron Age in Etruscan Latium (IX/VIII century BC) and oriental and archaic artifacts (VII/VI century BC)

“Biconical urn” expression of Villanovian civilization of the ninth century BC from the Necropolis of Osteria in Vulci

“For the closure a bowl was used or a ceramic reproduction of a helmet. The latter was the only form of customization for an urn otherwise free of any characterization in an anthropomorphic sense, a tendency which later would assume particular importance in certain cultural areas” (Web site of the Vatican Museums -

“Hands plated in bronze” seventh century BC used in early attempts at reproduction of the human figure by the Etruscan artists who were working with bronze

“Spheroidal amphora and chair in tubular elements” seventh century BC in laminated bronze

“Often the urn (the so-called Canopic jar) was placed on a chair like this one or, more frequently, on a throne with a circular back. All this, together with the furnishings of the funeral, was buried inside a large jar (dolio) or 'ziro'“ (Web site of the Vatican Museums -

“Hut-urn” first half of the ninth century BC from the Tomb of Montecucco in Castel Gandolfo

“The cinerary hut-shaped urn is one of the ossuaries typical of early Iron Age in Etruscan Latium (IX-VIII century BC), with isolated examples in Sabina and Campania. The special design of this urn, that wants to recall the home of the deceased, has a symbolic meaning. It is also a fundamental model for understanding the domestic architecture of these old huts, which had an oval or rectangular, more rarely circular, plan with the entrance door on the short side” (Web site of the Vatican Museums -

“Archaic Chariot” 550/540 BC in laminated and cast bronze on a wooden modern reconstruction


Room II – Necropolis of Sorbo and Giulimondi Tomb

Items from an excavation carried out in the years 1836/37 in the Necropolis of Sorbo at Cerveteri, by the General Vincenzo Galassi and the Archpriest of Cerveteri, Alessandro Regolini
To these items, discovered in at least nine tombs, were added the items found by Giovanni Pinza in 1906 in the Giulimondi Tomb

In the FRIEZE “Stories of Moses and Aaron” by Federico Fiori aka Barocci (1535/1612), Federico Zuccari (about 1542/1609) and his brother Taddeo Zuccari (1529/66) with their workshops

Regolini Galassi tomb (about 650 BC) discovered intact: “Bib” and “Fibula” of gold. The fibula was an ancient and much more ornate version of a modern pin, used to block and decorate garments

“I believe that today we can definitely recognize an Egyptian birthright regarding the type and symbolism of the Regolini-Galassi's “Bib” although, considering the historical and decorative repertoire, it is likely that it reached Etruria through Levantine mediation” (Maurizio Sannibale)

The bucchero black ceramic was usually thin, used by the Etruscans to produce vessels. Around the inkpot Etruscan letters are engraved

“For many decades the idea has grown that the Etruscan Orientalizing constituted only a tumultuous confluence of exotic goods, given in exchange for raw materials and products to the new rich of the West, who obviously did not share in the culture that had produced those same goods. Today, we think that things can be worked out differently, as it is said in the introduction to the exhibition 'Etruscan Princes between Mediterranean and Europe': the Orientalizing phenomenon was not only commercial but it also imported ideas” (Maurizio Sannibale)

Objects from the Calabresi Tomb about 650 BC including “Calabresi urn”, an urn in overpainted red clay

Objects from the Giulimondi Tomb about 690 BC

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