Description of the museum : Sannio Caudino National Archaeological Museum
The museum is located in comune di Montesarchio in the province of Benevento.
The Sannio Caudino Archaeological Museum is located in the Montesarchio Castle and preserves important finds from the centres of Caudium (Montesarchio), Saticula (Sant’Agata dei Goti) and Telesia (San Salvatore Telesino). The remaining grave goods testify to the presence of inhabitants from the Early Iron Age around the 10th-11th centuries BC.
Particularly interesting are the ceramics of Corinthian and Greek production and the bucchero vases imported from Etruria or Capua. But, of all the finds, the particular story of the crater depicting the Rape of Europa from the 5th century BC by the ceramographer Assteas is worth mentioning. It was discovered in the necropolis of ancient Saticula in 1970 and was sold by a grave robber on the antiques market for 1 million lira and a pig. After being resold several times at the antiques market, it was bought in 1981 by the Getty Museum in Malibu, USA, for $380,000.
The investigation by the Carabinieri of the Artistic Heritage Protection Unit resulted in the crater being returned to Italy in 2007.
The vase was exhibited globally and selected as a symbol of the European Union. On 23 July 2015 it was presented in Milan at Expo 2015. Since 23 March 2016 it has been on display in the Montesarchio Castle Tower.
Museum routes have been created to satisfy even the youngest visitors. Each route was created from the different curiosities and perplexities encountered during the various educational visits to the museum.
The aim is to guide primary and secondary school students through history; this is possible thanks to the 9 shaped panels depicting a Samnite child telling the story of mankind from prehistory to the Roman era.
Finally, in order to allow children to travel through time and space, a paintbrush representing a ‘timeline’ (from prehistory to the 3rd century BC) has been created.
The museum is accessible to the disabled.
Via Castello, 1, 82010 Montesarchio BN
Open Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 to 19:00. Closed on Mondays.