curated by Massimo Osanna, Stéphane Verger
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Following in the footsteps of previous exhibitions – on Egypt in 2016 and on Greece in 2017 – Pompeii e gli Etruschi opens in the Palestra Grande in Pompeii to illustrate how local Etruscan elites interacted with the original inhabitants of Campania and communities of Greek settlers here. The exhibition looks at early Etruscan influences in the area prior to Pompeii before focusing on Etruscan Pompeii set in the multiethnic Campania region until its decline, and the echoes of Etruscan customs that survived.
Roughly 800 exhibits from Italian and European museums are displayed in 13 rooms in the north portico of the Palestra Grande. These include bronze and silver artefacts, together with terracotta pottery and ceramics from tombs, sanctuaries and private homes, all of which help to understand the controversial dynamics of the Etruscan presence in Campania.
Pivotal to the exhibition are the finds from the recent excavations at the Fondo Iozzino sanctuary, one of the most important sanctuaries founded in Pompeii at the end of the 7th century BC. This site yielded a remarkable quantity of finds from the archaic period, including arms and vessels for ritual libations with inscriptions in the Etruscan language. Finds flanked by those from the other Etruscan cities of Campania, such as Pontecagnano and Capua.
Exhibits also include funerary objects from the magnificent princely tombs in which the most important members of great aristocratic families were buried, coming from the Artiaco 104 tomb at Cuma of a cosmopolitan prince; from that of a princess from Montevetrano (tomb 74), near Pontecagnano; and from the extravagant tomb of an orientalising prince from Lazio (the Barberini tomb of Palestrina).
The leitmotif of the exhibitions in the Palestra Grande at Pompeii, with Egypt, Greece and now Etruria, are the dynamics of multiculturalism, how integration between social groups worked, and the Mediterranean space as a theatre both of fluid cultures and ring-fenced identities. Since the late 19th century Campania has figured in historical and antiquarian science as a melting pot of presences, overlapping groups and ethnic identities, with the task of unravelling the skein being entrusted to archaeology.
From this viewpoint the exhibition, like those that preceded it, is part of an ongoing research project stemming from excavations, studies and documentation. From this operation emerges the historical outline of a multiethnic Campania, and Pompeii, undoubtedly one of the leading towns of the region in the first centuries of its life, has now become a paradigm for the archaic cities of Campania.
Wednesday 12 december 2018
Thursday 02 may 2019
Parco Archeologico di Pompei
Via Villa dei Misteri,
80045 Pompei (NA)
Access to the exhibition is included in the entry fee to the excavations.
Massimo Osanna and Stéphan Verger
Parco Archeologico di Pompei
In collaboration with
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, Polo Museale della Campania