Archeological Museum “Pietro Griffo”
The Regional Archaeological Museum “Pietro Griffo” in Agrigento is certainly one of the most important and visited archaeological museums in Sicily. The building was designed by Franco Minissi and constructed in the 1960’s on the site of the ancient agora where the villa of Ciantro Panitteri once stood.
It shows a perfect blending of old restored remains (Cloister of the Convent of St Nicholas) and new structures. The archaeological museum displays over 5688 artefacts that, arranged both in chronological and topographical order, illustrate the history of the Agrigentan territory from prehistoric times to the end of the Greek- Roman period. The collections partly come from the Civic Museum (items found at the beginning of 20th century) and from private collections or were ceded by other museums.
Most of the artefacts, however, come from excavations conducted by the Sovrintendenza of Agrigento since the 1940s. The museum consists of 18 rooms and is divided into two different, but complementary, sections. In each room, there are bilingual (English and Italian) panels that guide visitors and give information on the items displayed in the showcases.
Section I: Ancient Agrigento and its extra-urban territory
- Room 1 – Topography and ancient sources
- Room 2 – Prehistoric and indigenous period, relations with the Mycenaean world and colonization. Not to be missed the Dinos vase with triskeles (7th century B.C.)
- Room 3 – Collection of vases. Attic and Italiot pottery from the Greek necropoleis of Agrigento. Not to be missed the white crater with Perseus and Andromeda (about 430 B.C.)
- Room 4 – Architectural sculptures. Waterspouts in the shape of a lion’s head, made of clay (archaic, 6th century B.C.) or stone (from 5 century B.C. onwards)
- Room 5 – Archaeological artefacts, mostly of a votive kind, from the sanctuaries of the sacred areas of Agrigento: moulds, clay statuettes of animal and human shape, related to the cult of Demeter and Kore in Sicily, clay masks, vases, heads of various gods and clay small altars
- Room 6 – Original Telamon statue from the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Panels and models illustrate the different reconstruction hypothesis and theories about the placement of these giant statues in the temple.
- Room 7 – Archaeological finds from the nearby Hellenistic and Roman living area. A stratigraphy and an aerial photo show the urban layout from the Greek archaic period to the Roman Imperial period
- Room 8 – Inscriptions
- Room 9 Coins of ancient Agrigento: a numismatic collection of outstanding interest
- Room 10 – The Ephebe of Agrigento or Agrigento kouros (boy), a small masterpiece of severe style with soft and smooth surfaces
- Room 11 – Greek and Roman necropolis of Agrigento. Not to be missed the small Roman sarcophagus in marble (2nd century A.D.) with scenes illustrating the life of the dead
- Room 12 – Archaeological sites in the region of Agrigento and Caltanissetta from prehistoric times to the Hellenization period