Archaeological museum of ancient Capua
The archaeological museum of ancient Capua is housed in a nineteenth-century building that stands in one of Capua’s oldest settlements, first occupied by the Tower of Sant’Erasmo in the Longobard era, later a royal stable and archive under Robert of Anjou, a military barracks and the home of the Istituto di Incremento Ippico (horsebreeding institution).
Opened in 1995, the museum uses modern exhibiting criteria to display archaeological finds from the excavations carried out in the Capua district in the second half of the twentieth century. Over twelve rooms, illustrative and informative panels help visitors to trace the history of ancient Capua and its surrounding area from the 10th to the 1st century B.C.
The tour begins with objects that illustrate the transition from the late Bronze Age to the early Iron Age. The grave goods from the Iron Age include finds of Etruscan origin (bronze basins, bucchero ware), as well as objects from Greece and the Danube.
Ceramics of a proto-Corinthian and Corinthian type illustrate the theme of the absorption of Greek cultural models in the ‘orientalising’ period, through contact with the Etruscans. Numerous imported ceramics, Ionic cups and Attic vases showing black and red-figure decoration and mythological scenes and other examples of local production introduce thearchaic period (6th-5th century B.C.).
The supremacy of the Samnites over the Etruscans at the end of the 5th century B.C. is illustrated by the male grave goods, which are characterised by weapons, whereas the female grave goods include gold jewellery and figured vases. A series of painted cist tombs follows, dating back to the late 4th century B.C., with grave goods comprising red-figure vases made in Cuma, which are commonly found in the Capua district. The final room exhibits finds from recent excavations carried out at local sanctuaries, in particular from the rediscovered site of the Fondo Patturelli. This site is included in the circuit campania>artecard.