“Roots of the Present”
The archaeological collection
The entire collection consists of 300 pieces, all from the Roman period and dating from between the second and fifth century AD, with the exception of a fourth-century-BC Greek relief. The exhibition brings together, for the first time, the three cores that make up the collection of antiquities owned by Assicurazioni Generali: finds from the excavations that were made at the beginning of the 20th century during the construction of the Assicurazioni Generali Palazzo, and the two lots found in the 19th century. In the exhibition layout, numbering in different colours helps to identify which collection lot the single finds originally belong to.
The exhibition itinerary
Roots of the Present stems from the Assicurazioni Generali Company's wish to offer a solid and lasting contribution to the cultural system.
The didactic approach of this museum was designed with the purpose of fostering a direct relationship with the exhibits, seeking a compromise between the fascinating complexity of ancient finds and the ability to stimulate young visitors' curiosity.
The various rooms crossed by the itinerary allow to explore, with an alternation of different display solutions, the context of the archaeological excavation (Room A - "The finds unearthed beneath the Palazzo"), the rooms of everyday life in ancient Rome (Rooms B -"The Domus" and C - "The viridarium"), public spaces (Rooms E- "The Forum, public buildings and the spaces of the gods" and F - "The historical commemorative bas-relief") and the afterlife world with its rituals and beliefs (Rooms G - "Burial rites in ancient Rome", H - "Identity in the funereal world", I - "The past as a memory of the future", L - "Sarcophagi of the Merolli - FATA collection", M - "The funeral inscriptions").
The presence of a series of “habitable sets”, spaces where the archeological findings and the documents in archive become interpreters of a narration able to create direct contact with the ancient world, offers the opportunity to appreciate the historical stratification of the block where the building is located, the evolution of Piazza Venezia, the worship of household gods, Trajan's Column and the relationship with the world of the dead.
Particular emphasis was given to the archaeological finds unearthed in this area of Rome during the construction of the building that houses them today. They offer a rare opportunity to discover and describe the urban evolution of this part of the city over the centuries.
At the Corporate Art Award 2016, Roots of the Present has received a special mention for the “Educational value of the archaeological collection”. The event rewards companies that have distinguished themselves by projects which valorize art and the artistic heritage.
Roots of the Present for schools
The visit to the museum is differentiated according to the type of school of the classes, developing those themes that are most adequate according to the different ages of the groups visiting.
For primary schools: the exhibition's itinerary tells of the various ways of living domestic and public spaces, of the differences and similarities between these places and those of present times. The visit provides a playful and amusing didactic activity on the theme of domestic religiosity that favours the interaction of young visitors.
For lower secondary schools: the visit, through the direct comparison with the finds exhibited facilitates the learning of history and of Roman civilization, allowing to develop those subjects that the students deal with in their study programme. The location of the museum, in the heart of Rome, near the recent excavation site of Piazza Venezia, makes it the ideal destination for an itinerary moving back in time.
For upper secondary schools: the visit puts its focus on that section of the museum that tells about the afterlife and that includes a vast epigraphy section which illustrates how Ancient Romans entrusted the memory of their personal identity to engravings in stone. An in-depth philosophical analysis of sepulchers allows a more articulated reflection on this theme. Through an immediate, simple exhibition itinerary, stories, tales and social relations are brought back to life through the latin inscriptions engraved on the epigraphs.
Thematic lessons for schools
Until the 2017th the Museum organized a series of thematic lessons explaining the history and culture of Roman civilization in a simple and fascinating way.
Through the captivating gaze of archaeology, the students explored, understund and closely looked at the context and the background of historical events they study at school.
The scientific panels in each room provide all the information needed to navigate the exhibition itinerary. The digital catalogue contains photos and captions of all the exhibits, while each room's fact sheets, a set of didactic files illustrating in each room the ancient context in which the artifacts were located, provide thematic analyses and educational materials that visitors can pick up and take home. Browsing this website you can download the catalogue of exhibits.