The Museum of Ancient Campania
Wedged between the Apennines and the sea, Ancient Campania's borders were the River Sele to the south and the Garigliano to the north: a wealthy, fertile land that, at a later date, would earn the epithet of "felix", "happiness", and would become one of the most important cultural and trading centres in the ancient world.
Nowadays, that world and land are brought back to life with the numerous records on show at the Agro Atellano Archaeological Museum.
History of the Museum
Built between 1870 and 1872 from a project by the architect Luigi Pietroluongo, the building, now home to the Museum, was a former district jail and later, up until 1974, a local Carabinieri station.
A decree issued on 7 August 1991 by the Minister for Cultural Heritage designated the structure for the creation of a new museum with a view to illustrating the history of the souther part of the Ager Campanus, located South and West of the Regi Lagni and the ancient city and urban benchmark of Atella.
This was how the Agro Atellano Archaeological Museum, opened to the public on 5 April 2002, came into being.
A visit to the Museum starts on the ground floor, where the reconstruction of a necropolis stands out with children's funeral urns, belonging to a vast rural complex dating from between the III and IV centuries A.D.
Findings are on display on the first floor that date from the late ancient Bronze age, and originating from the urban area necropolises spread across the area and falling within the towns of Succivo and Orta di Atella.
These findings relate to settlements, villages or farms typical of the ancient countryside throughout the various chronological stages. Of particular importance is the vascular collection of red figure vases, all produced in Campania.
The second floor is dedicated to temporary exhibitions linked to diggings carried out recently in the local area. The Museum has specific equipment and video points for multimedia films, and its internal courtyard is set up to host cultural events, meetings, conferences exhibitions and various general events organised by private individuals in collaboration with Campania's Museum Group.