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History of Museum

The Municipal Museum was founded in Altamura in 1891 and although having its ups and downs survived until 1909, the year in which due to: “the city’s lack of interest for the needs of the institution” it was permanently shut down.

Following important archaeological discoveries behind the old town area, at the end of the 1950’s, due to the lively construction activity generated by the post-war economic revival, the idea of an Archaeological Museum was revived by a few erudite individuals from the city’s Municipal Library and Archive. Excavations had been carried out already on the site of La Croce since 1960 and the decision to locate the new museum on the archaeological site was made immediately. Construction of the building began in 1964 and was completed in 1978.

For several years the Municipality of Altamura believed that managing the Municipal Archaeological Museum was within its capabilities but, in 1987, due to demands coming from the public and the cultural world it was decided to entrust the institution to the Apulian Archaeological Heritage Superintendence. A Convention, drafted for the occasion, established the Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Altamura (National Archaeological Museum of Altamura) in the centre of a reference region situated at the border between Apulia and Basilicata. The structure was not open to the public until December 1993, after the discovery of the “Altamura Man”, with an exhibit dedicated to this exceptional discovery.

The layout of the first floor was completed in 1997, with an itinerary entitled “The ancient people of Upper Murgia”, which illustrated the whole history and heritage of the population, from prehistoric times to the early Middle Ages. In 2003, the Palaeolithic section, dedicated to the Palaeolithic period in Apulia and to the cave of Lamalunga, was inaugurated on the second floor. The current exhibit is divided into five parts, arranged on two levels: the Palaeolithic period, the Prehistoric period, the Archaic period, the Classical-Hellenistic period and the Medieval period.
To the center of the first floor there is the room where it is open to the public the show "Prehistory of the food. To the origins of the bread." To the entry of museum, a small section is prepared with Roman funeral epigraphs. On the back of the building they are visible rests of the excavations archaeological ducts in the place "La Croce" with referable structures to an inhabited area of the 6th century B.C.
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Comunità Europea Interreg Italia-Albania Regione Puglia Ministria e turizmit, kultures, rinise dhe sporteve Direzione Regionale per i Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici della Puglia Tecnopolis Novus Ortus

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