The Museum of the Protohistory of the Latin Peoples

The Museum of the Protohistory of the Latin Peoples is located on the upper floor of the Michelangelo Cloister. It illustrates the development of the culture of Latium between the end of the Bronze Age (11th century BC) and the Iron Age up to the Orientalising Period (the 10th century BC to the beginning of 6th century BC), through the archaeological complexes explored and excavated in the territory surrounding Rome. Indeed, during this period, communities in Latium shifted from egalitarian, tribal structures organised as village communities to complex noble-customer socio-political entities, organised along proto-urban and then urban lines.

The first part of the exhibition is more general and covers all of ancient Latium, namely the territory between the Tiber and Mount Circeo in the Tyrrhenian regions of the peninsula. The archaeological materials are used to reconstruct the social structure, economy, religion, ideology, territorial and political organisation, relationships with neighbouring regions and long-distance connections.

The illustration of the general characteristics and development of the culture of Latium is followed by an exploration of the individual centres within the territory of Rome (Osteria dell’Osa-Castiglione in the district of Gabii, Fidene, La Rustica-Collatia and Santa Palomba).