The mythical origins of Rome at Lavinium archaeological museum

In less than one hour from the historic center of Rome, an innovative archaeological museum recalls the religious aura lingering in the ancient site of Lavinium (the present Pratica di Mare) and the mythical connection with its founder Aeneas, heroic progenitor of the Romans.

The medieval Borgo di Pratica, in the area of the ancient Lavinium

The medieval Borgo di Pratica, in the area of the ancient Lavinium.

As transmitted by the traditional account, the glorious origins of Rome are routed in a mythical period even earlier than the traditional founding in the 8th century BC: that one the heroes of the ancient epic poem called “Iliad” were supposed to live in. Over three thousands years ago, it is said that Aeneas, son of the goddess Aphrodite and the prince Anchises, cousin of King Priam of Troy, escaped from his falling hometown and, after a difficult peregrination, landed on the coast belonging to “Latium Vetus” in the Italian peninsula, giving origin to the glorious ancestry of Romulus and Remus.

Terracotta statue of Minerva Tritonia, from the Minerva sanctuary, dating to the 5th century BC, first room of Tritonia Virgo, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Terracotta statue of Minerva Tritonia, from the Minerva sanctuary, dating to the 5th century BC, first room of Tritonia Virgo, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Votive terracotta bust coming from the store of Minerva sanctuary at Lavinium, second room of Mundus muliebris, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Votive terracotta bust coming from the store of Minerva sanctuary at Lavinium, second room of Mundus muliebris, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Entrance to the Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Entrance to the Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Opened in 2005, the museum displays the finds dug out in the archaeological sites of the nearby territory, dating between the 9th century BC and the Roman period, as the evidences coming from the so-called Tomb of Aeneas (also referred to as “Heroon of Aeneas”) and the sanctuary of Minerva, where the original terracotta statue of “Minerva Tritonia” dating back to the 5th century BC has been unearthed. An entire section of the museum is dedicated to the Trojan hero and his connection with the sacred area of the Thirteen Altars.

The educational devices are generous and well conceived: the plastic recreations in addition to innovative multimedia technologies contribute to present every object as the protagonist of a tangible and captivating story directly coming from a past, which wavers between myth and history.

You find it here

Opening time: from Tuesday to Friday 9.00 am - 2.00 pm; from Saturday to Sunday 9.00 am - 5.00 pm. Ticket office closes 45 minutes before. The museum is closed on Monday. Advance booking is necessary for groups of more than 10 persons (call 0039 0691984744 or email to museo.lavinium@yahoo.it). The archaeological area of the Thirteen Altars and the Heroon of Aeneas is accessible to groups of minimum 10 persons on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, prior authorization from the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Lazio (call 0039 063265961). 

Tickets: 3.00€ - 5.00€

Organization: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Lazio

Director: Gloria Galante

Website

Votive terracotta head coming from the store of Minerva sanctuary at Lavinium, second room of Mundus muliebris, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Votive terracotta head coming from the store of Minerva sanctuary at Lavinium, second room of Mundus muliebris, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Vases of Greek manufacture, 6th century BC, from the sacred area of the Thirteen Altars, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Vases of Greek manufacture, 6th century BC, from the sacred area of the Thirteen Altars, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Vase of Greek manufacture, 6th century BC, from the sacred area of the Thirteen Altars, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Vase of Greek manufacture, 6th century BC, from the sacred area of the Thirteen Altars, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Bronze statuettes from Minerva sanctuary, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Group of bronze statuettes fused with matrixes and completed with details once they got cold, from Minerva sanctuary, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM). The male small bronzes are naked, while the feminine ones are dressed.

False double tufa door coming from the monumental façade of the so-called Heroon of Aeneas, fifth room of Aeneas indiges, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

False double tufa door coming from the monumental façade of the sanctuary identified with the shrine dedicated to the hero Aeneas (the so-called Heroon of Aeneas), later added at the end of the 4th century BC, fifth room of Aeneas indiges, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Recreation of the monument identified as the shrine dedicated to the hero Aeneas (Heroon of Aeneas), located near the sanctuary of the Thirteen Altars, fifth room of Aeneas indiges, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Recreation of the monument identified as the shrine dedicated to the hero Aeneas (Heroon of Aeneas), located near the sanctuary of the Thirteen Altars, fifth room of Aeneas indiges, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Mixture ceramic paraphernalia and miniaturized paraphernalia made of bronze thin sheet, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Mixture ceramic paraphernalia and miniaturized paraphernalia made of bronze thin sheet, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Votive sculpture from the sacred area of the Thirteen Altars, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Votive sculpture from the sacred area of the Thirteen Altars, fourth room of Civitas religiosa, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

Terracotta statues representing the devotees to Minerva, from the votive store related to the Minerva sanctuary, dating between 5th-3rd century BC, first room of Tritonia Virgo, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM)

Terracotta statues representing the devotees to Minerva, from the votive store related to the Minerva sanctuary, dating between 5th-3rd century BC, first room of Tritonia Virgo, Museo Civico Archeologico "Lavinium", Pomezia (RM).

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2 comments

  1. idowhatiwanto 27 July, 2016 at 11:24 Reply

    Nice post! I had never heard of this museum and sounds interesting. Only half of the team has been to Italy but both will like to go (back) soon! Thanks for the tips

    • Milestone Rome
      Milestone Rome 28 July, 2016 at 16:26 Reply

      Thank you so much, Sara and Nacho! Indeed, this place is really touching. If you plan to come and visit Rome, feel free to ask us anytime for further tips and support.

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