The exposition

Rocca Albornoz esposizioneThe museum occupies three floors of the northern wing and is dedicated to the principal archaeological finds of the area of southern Etruria. The other parts of the buildings are reserved for the Soprintendenza's offices, the storage of material and temporary exhibitions.

On the ground floor are the finds excavated, by Swedish archaeologists, in two of the most important Etruscan settlements from the 7th – 6th century BC: San Giovenale and Acquarossa. The discovery of these settlements made it possible to complete the knowledge of Etruscan life, which was previously only linked to tombs and funerary evidence, now also with the way of life of their urban centres. Original finds have been used to reconstruct some Etruscan houses, complete in their rich, fanciful decorative elements, painted or in reliefs. One building complex stands out because of its monumental size. It has been interpreted by some as the Palace of Acquarossa a residence for the local ruler, and dates from around the middle of the 6th century BC. Interesting is also the reconstruction in full scale of an area of domestic activities.

On the first floor are arranged two principal sections dedicated to Ferento and Musarna, two Etruscan centres near Viterbo. There is not so much evidence of the Etruscan period in Ferento; the most interesting aspects are with the Roman period. The exhibition shows the sculptural decorations of the theatre, consisting of the Muses and a marble copy of a statue of Pothos (a divinity of sexual desire), the original of which has been attributed to the Greek sculptor Skopas.

The next room holds a collection of some finds discovered by the École Française of Rome on the site of Musarna. The systematic excavations have made it possible to outline, from all points of view, the characteristics aspects of this settlement in the area of Etruria, inhabited from prehistoric times, but only with a stable occupation from the 4th century BC. Particularly noteworthy is the exceptional mosaic floor with an Etruscan inscription, a symbolic testimony to the process of Romanization which affected Etruria from the 2nd century BC.

Finally, on the second floor are the finds from the rocky landscape necropolises of Barbarano, Blera, Norchia and Castel d'Asso. There are also to be found the most important objects from the towns surroundings the Lake of Bolsena (Bisenzio, Grotte di Castro and Montefiascone), with a final section showing the first Etruscan finds from Viterbo.

As a crowning feature, a room is entirely dedicated to the refined items from the tomb of the chariot (biga) from Ischia di Castro, datable to the end of the 6th century BC. The Etruscan aristocratic wealth is well represented in these items, which are linked to a woman of high social status.
Rocca Albornoz esposizioneRocca Albornoz esposizioneRocca Albornoz esposizioneRocca Albornoz esposizioneRocca Albornoz esposizioneRocca Albornoz esposizione