It was created in the 1970s thanks to the Romanian archaeologist Dino Adamesteanu, the first Superintendent of Basilicata and the creator of a great excavation campaign which,

using the technique of aerial prospecting, of which he was a pioneer, brought to light most of the finds that can be admired today in Metaponto.

The Museum presents a reconstruction of the archaeological picture of the area and is divided into four rooms corresponding to the main phases of its historical development.

Section I displays the first finds of the Enotri-Choni during the Middle Bronze Age: the impasto artefacts of the local culture are juxtaposed with refined Italo-Mycenaean vases with elegant decorations.

Section II documents the birth of the polis, the gradual occupation of the territory and the initial contributions of the Greeks from the Peloponnese. The growth of the indigenous communities with the establishment of aristocratic family groups is evident in the rich grave goods in which personal ornaments are predominantly made of bronze, while other objects testify to the vitality of trade, social organisation and the level of specialisation achieved.

Section III, on the development of the city, presents significant finds from the temples that testify to the activity of specialised craftsmen of oriental origin: transport amphorae, fine tableware and small decorated containers prevail over local vascular forms. Images from Greek epic and mythological traditions appear on the vessels, including the krater depicting Bellerophon on Pegasus and the monumental lustral basin on which mythical episodes of Perseus and Medusa and scenes from Homeric poems are depicted in relief. The materials on display demonstrate the difference between the luxurious lifestyle of the aristocrats and the great sobriety of the Oenotrian communities.

Section IV (Classical-Hellenistic phase) marks the transition to individual forms of religiosity, as evidenced by the scenes of banquets or of clear esoteric significance (with Orpheus, Dionysus, Demeter, the birth of Helen from the egg). The Roman conquest has disastrous effects: the city loses its autonomy, the settlement is reduced to the harbour nucleus at the mouth of the Basento, the agora is occupied by burials with personal care objects.

A final section is dedicated to the techniques for the production of ceramics with which Metaponto has always produced and exported valuable artefacts to the major centres of southern Italy, thanks also to the presence of artists such as the painter of Pisticci, Amykos, Creusa and Dolone.

A petition has recently been launched to name the Museum after Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher from Samos (a municipality twinned with Metaponto from 2019, with the declared intention of achieving the prestigious recognition of UNESCO transnational site) who died in Metapontion after living and teaching there for about 20 years.



Piazza Plebiscito snc

75012 Bernalda (MT)

+39 0835 540 214