The Exhibition

 

The construction of The National Museum of Lucus Feroniae, started in 1977, and the first two rooms were opened to the public in 1998.

The remains of the large sanctuary of Feronia, still being excavated, proves the importance of the site since the Archaic Age. Feronia was a religious and trade centre for the Italic populations (Sabine, Latin and Etruscans) even before the Roman conquest. Having become a Roman colony in the early days of the Imperial Age, it was an agricultural centre in the Tiber Valley close to one of the Ports on the Tiber, so well connected to Rome by the river, and by land along The Via Tiberina Campana.

The excavations of the Roman town began in 1952 and continued without interruption until 1979. They were began again in 1993/94 and more recently from 2000. The scientific activity has never been interrupted and the documentation of the vast archaeological heritage (inscriptions, statues, architectural terracotta and pottery) is at an advanced stage and will lead to the publication within a short time of several work studies. Books have already been published on the statuary complex of the Basilica, on the floors of the houses in the town, on some of the contents of the necropolis of Via Capenate and on the imperial inscriptions.

Currently on display in the museum is an important set of honorific statues from the Augusteum, dedicated to the Emperor Augustus and his family. Of particular interest are a portrait of the young Augustus and a rare statue of Agrippa. Also noteworthy is the variety of portrayal female statues, as they represent the fashion in vogue in the early Imperial Age. The statuary cycle reflects directly the strong influence that the urban centre had for development in the Augustan era owing to the political power exercised by the powerful Volusii Saturnini, who were protagonists in those events and owners of the nearby country estate.
At the centre of the room there is a circular marble base decorated in festoons and bucrania (ornaments with the form of an ox skull), which has holes to support the holy tripod.
In the following section are displayed inscriptions, funerary reliefs and architectural stone fragments coming from the Roman villas on the outskirts of Lucus Feroniae.
The next showcase houses a selection of grave items coming from the necropolis at Via Capenate, (1st to the 6th century AD.)
Next on display are some objects excavated from the villas on land owned by Standa and in the area of Baciletti.

The specific point of the museum is closely linked to preserve this Roman town, which is among the few in Italy without the overlap of different populations building on top of it, from ancient times until the present day. For this reason it is well preserved in all its aspects, also the seemingly less important things of every day life.
The preparation of the new rooms has been designed with the intention of enriching this profile. This project, which has been recently financed by the Ministero BBCCAA with the funds ARCUS, will probably be completed within 2011.

The complex of the Augusteum and the Basilica, provisionally illustrated in the atrium, will house materials coming from the necropolises and the Roman villas of the outskirts. Additional rooms will be used for a selection of the most significant finds discovered in the excavations of the sanctuary and town, restored and documented by the team of researchers coordinated by the Soprintendenza, who have been working on this project since 1981.

The new exhibition will display, with a partial reconstruction, the mausoleum of Fiano, whose remarkable reliefs illustrating scenes of gladiatorial combats which were recovered by the Customs (Guardia di Finanza) and the Carabinieri of the unit Tutela Patrimonio Culturale in 2006. These are partially displayed in the atrium of the museum as a temporary didactic exhibition. The excavation in the area of the necropolis, where the Mausoleum was built, and from which come the blocks with the reliefs, was completed and analysed by the Soprintendenza in 2007. These items will soon be ready for publication.
Two are the complexes which will constitute the most important part of the exhibition in the new museum.: the Late Republican mausoleum with a gladiatorial relief and the set of statues of the Julian-Claudian family from the Augusteum and from the basilica of the colony.