Archaeological Museum of PITHECUSAE


The Archaeological Museum of PITHECUSAE is situated in Lacco Ameno, Ischia, in the main building of the structure of Villa Arbusto, built by Don Carlo Acquaviva, duke of Atri, in 1785, just where the "estate of the Arbosto" was once. This property became the summer-residence of the publisher A. Rizzoli in 1952 and it was later bought by the Municipality of Lacco Ameno in order to become the archaeological Museum, which explains the history of the island of Ischia from the prehistory to the Roman Age.
The structure of Arbusto comprehends a wonderful park too, full of several varieties of plants and it has a fantastic sight.
The archaeological finds of the Grecian settlement of Pithecusae, founded by Greeks of the island of Euboea, in the second fourth of the VIIIth century B. C., are particularly numerous and very important.
These materials were discovered thanks to the excavations carried out in Ischia by G. Buchner since 1952; they testify the very wide deal of commercial relationships which Pithekoussans developed with the Near East and Carthage, Greece and Spain, Apulia, Ionic Calabria and Sardinia.
The San Montano valley was used as a necropolis for about thousand years since the second half of the VIIIth century B. C.; the most famous vases of Pithecusae, like the local lategeometrical bowl decorated with a scene of a shipwreck and the well-known Cup from Rhodes, on which one epigramm of three verses in Euboic alphabet was written with reference to the famous Nestors cup, which is described in the Iliad, come from there. We must remember, in fact, that the alphabet represents one of the most important elements of the heritage of know-ledge which the population of Central Italy received from the Greeks of Pithecusae, first Greek settlement on the coasts of Southern Italy.
A progressive decline of the importance of Pithecusae occurred because of the political and economic development of Cumae, founded by the Greeks of Chalcis and eretria ont he mainland since the beginning of the VIIth century B. C. The architectronic terracotta fragments prove the existence of temples on the Acropolis of Monte Vico, from where a great amount of the table-ceramics, called "Campana A", which was produced in the Ellenistic Age in Ischia and exported to Africa, Spain and South France, comes many.
During the Roman Age the island, which assumed the name Aenaria, was struk by vulcanic eruptions, therefore the Romans who settled there, were not so numerous as those who settled, for example, near the Phlegraei Fields. The main heritage of this time are marble votive reliefs of the temple of the Nymphes situated in Nitrodi (Barano) and the lead and tin bars of the submerged foundry in Carta Romana (Ischia).