The Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Altamura was created with the intention of gathering in one location the many archaeological artefacts from the entire area, dating from Prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The exhibition attests to the settling of Alta Murgia and represents a summary of Peucetian civilisation and its inland expansion toward Basilicata and the Ionian coast.
A series of excavations, which began in the immediate post-World War II period and continued during the reconstruction years, unearthed part of the Peucetian settlement exactly in the area where the Museum stands today.
The Museum complex was officially opened in 1993, coinciding with a few important discoveries made in the 1990s, such as the Neanderthal specimen of the Altamura Man–found in a limestone cave in Lamalunga–and the Pontrelli cave palaeontological site, whose dinosaur footprints represent an additional tourist attraction. Today, the Museum collection is housed in a late-1960s, two-story building next to the historic centre, along Altamura’s main road leading to nearby Santeramo.
Opened in March 2017, the new exhibition follows an informative multimedia set-up. On the first floor, the exhibition is dedicated to the civilisations that inhabited the Alta Murgia (Upper Murgia) region from pre- and protohistoric times to the Late Antiquity period, and consists of relics found in nearby settlements and necropolises.
The second floor is dedicated entirely to the European Palaeolithic, with specific focus on Central and Southern Italy.
Special prominence is given to “Preistoria del cibo. Alle origini del pane” (“Prehistory of food. The origins of bread”), an exhibition dedicated to reaffirming the farming heritage of the area and its close ties with the community.
Via Santeramo, 88 (Museo nazionale archeologico)
MON 8:30 - 19:30
TUE 8:30 - 19:30
WED 8:30 - 19:30
THU 8:30 - 19:30
FRI 8:30 - 19:30
SAT 8:30 - 13:30
SUN 8:30 - 13:30