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  • Section

    archaeological

ARCHAEOLOGY



The archaeological collection can be divided into three main sections: prehistorical archaeology, Egyptology and classical archaeology.

Pietro Calderini was mainly interested in natural sciences, thus leaving this collections to a secondary role: nontheless they are vast and of great interest.


More than a hundred findings form the precious Egyptological section, constituted during the second half of the XIX Century: portions of human mummies – among which three human heads, one still partially covered in gold – animal mummies, e.g.a cat , and a baboon, and small dehydrated crocodiles, but also artifacts and funerary objects in bronze and terracotta, necklaces with amulets and sarcophagus fragments in wood and cartonnage.
 


Classical archaeology is represented by 73 findings, among which black pottery (from VI-IV Century b.C. to half of I Century b.C.) and black/red-figure pottery. The masterpiece of the collection is an - phora in the style of Chalcidian pottery by the Painter of Phineus (540 – 520 b.C.), a relevant artist from Magna Graecia. The collection includes amphoras, lamps, unguentaria and many metal objects for daily life, such as spoons and fibulae: it also includes a complete bronze compass, one of the few known until today.

A copious number of bronze items belongs to the Golasecca culture (IX – IV Century b.C.): they have been found on Mount Santa Maria near Vanzone (Borgosesia).

Another oustanding piece is Saint Menas vial, a small terracotta vase used during the pilgrimages to the tombs of martyrs: Menas was a Roman soldier who lived between the III and IV Century A.D.. Martyr under Diocletian, he was well-known for his miracles and became object of an intense devotion.
 


A relevant place regarding the Bronze Age belongs to the “collection of various items found by researchers in the Terremare of Emilia”, donated in 1880 by Arsenio Crespellani, member of the Italian Natural Sciences Society and of the Lombardy Historical Society. “Terremare” were ancient villages diffused during the Bronze Age (c. 1650 – 1150 b.C.) in Emilia and other areas near Cremona, Mantua and Verona: their distribution testifies a commercial route from Val Camonica Alps to the river Po, probably being stock areas for the products destined to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, Crete, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt.