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Starting from September 30th, the Museum can rely on a guidebook written in English, French, German and Spanish, containing the translations of the panels/boards and of all the writings/scripts placed in the rooms downstairs. This manual will be provided to the requiring guest/tourist and should be given back at the end of the path.
The guidebook has been arranged thanks to the great translation job from the youth of Sarsina.

 

It is undoubtely one of the most important Archaeological Museums in Northern Italy for the richness and variety of the findings exhibited.

It was established in 1890 by Antonio Santarelli from Forlì, as a local collection of the Roman inscriptions described by the humanist canon Filippo Antonini in his book "Sarsina's antiques", published in 1607. The collection went on widening thanks to the excavation of Pian di Bezzo necropolis, near Sarsina, that brought big funerary monuments back to the light, and later thanks to the discovery of other finds inside the town.

After being bought by the Italian State in 1957, it was rearranged many times. In the 1980s, thanks to collaboration with Sarsina town, the Regional Board of the Ministry for Archaeology of Bologna made a further enlargement of the exposure rooms; this reorganization allowed to integrally reassemble the main funerary monuments that were previously decomposed, and to propose a new layout.

The Museum's collections, mostly of local origin, are mainly from the Roman Age, even though they cover a chronological period that goes from Prehistory to the late ancient times.

The exposition path begins with several funerary epigraphs, which offer a view of the ancient Sarsina through the memory of free men from the best known local families, or of freedmen. Among these, Cetrania Severina's gravestone (first half of II century A.D.) is particularly significant: on one side it shows a passage of her will to the collegia of dendrophori , fabri and centonari (professional corporations), to whom a legacy was assigned every year to be used for ritual oblations to honor her memory. Also Horatius Balbus' tombstone is important (I century B.C.): the text remembers the donation of a piece of ground near the necropolis for needing citizens' burial, with the exclusion though of some categories considered unworthy.

After this, you can see the funerary monuments coming from Pian di Bezzo necropolis: the Publius Verginius Paetus', the Rufus', which is one of the major attractions of the museum, and other stela, among which the one that delimited the sepulchral area of the mule drivers corporation ( muliones ).

The biggest sepulchral monument from Pian di Bezzo necropolis is the 14-metres high Rufo's Mausoleum. It is one of the most interesting examples of Roman architecture of Hellenistic style and it is composed of three parts: the base, the aedicule and the pyramidal cusp. The central columned part has four statues and the pyramidal cusp rises next to four sphinxes with a winged animal body and a woman's face with twelve breasts.

Among the finds from the town itself, the big polichrome floor mosaic called "Dionysus' Triumph" is of exceptional interest: it was a house floor showing the god over a tiger cart, Pan and a young satyr going with him. On a round bar in eight boxes you can see eight animals, and in eight triangles many different birds. On the corners there are the winged heads of the four winds, and on the lateral boards people from Dionysus' circle. The whole scene is contained in an acanthus frieze, with a hunting scene in the upper part. The work measures 8,90 * 6,30 metres and dates back to II or III century A.D.; it was come across in 1966 not far from Plautus Square.

There are also very important testimonies of the several practiced worships, bound to the Greek world ( Jupiter , Minerva , Apollo ), to the Roman-Italic tradition ( Spes , Dei Publici ), and to the eastern world. You will find a group of statues showing Phrygian and Egyptian gods and representing the most important sanctuary in Northern Italy devoted to these cults. Among these statues, the Attis' one stands out for its beauty: it was found in 1923, it is 150 cm high and is put among eastern gods complex. It had been broken up in fragments, maybe by the first christians, so it needed a difficult restauration.

Among the commemorative inscriptions, some remind the members of the imperial family ( Nerva , Traiano , Faustina Maggiore , Marco Aurelio ) and important people ( L. Appaeus , Aulus Pudens , C. Cesius Sabinus , S. Montanus ); the public inscriptions remind the construction of the defensive walls of the city (70-49 B.C.), and in particular the magistrates that promoted the fulfilment ( quattorviri iure dicundo ), an architectus who was in charge of the construction, and the different parts of the work ( murus , valvae , portae , turres ).

On the upper floor there are finds ascribable to the first settlement of Sarsina (IV-II century B.C.), and rocks, minerals and fossils coming from the Savio valley; furnishings of common use (table pots, oil lamps, objects for personal use); the reconstruction of a tomb "cappuccina", a sort of funerary structure very widespread in the first emperial age (I-II century A.D.), several building materials, floor sections in opus signinum (decorated pottery), lead pipes.

In the last room there are other objects for use and furniture; black-painted ceramics of the Republican age (II-I century B.C.); sealed earth; glazed medioadriatic ceramics of the emperial age.

You can also find glassware, objects coming from the ancient Bagno di Romagna baths, several sculptures among which a female head (maybe Livia , Augustus' wife), a realistic portrait of an old man, a mosaic showing Hercules, a triton with hippocampus and dolphin which was the floor of a small triclinium of a house from which come also pieces of plaster, abundant pots and a play set.