The Eolian Museum, established in 1954 by Luigi Bernabò Brea and Madeleine Cavalier, exhibits artefacts from the intensive digs carried out by the two archaeologists in the Eolian islands, from the 1940s to the present day.
It is housed in several buildings on the Castle Rock of Lipari.
The Living museum
It is a ‘living’ museum in constant and direct touch with the local community (the increase and development of its collections and exhibitions, as well as its infrastructure, are almost continuous), and it is dedicated to the continuation of archaeological research.
The exhibition, though scientifically rigorous, is designed to educate and the clear layout makes it easy to visit even for non-experts.
The historical re-constructions using original pieces from the digs are particularly effective with the public (the late Bronze Age necropolis of Piazza Monfalcone on Lipari, the prehistoric and proto-Greek necropolises of Milazzo, part of the Greek necropolis on Lipari).
The explanatory texts which accompany the exhibition are on two levels: red, texts in Italian and English with essential information, for a quick but informative visit, and more detailed texts in black print, which are in the process of being translated into English.
In the various sections the public can consult information points with interactive texts, containing a wide range of information and detailed explanations of the archaeological and monumental development of the Castle and all the exhibits at the museum.
The visit begins in the prehistoric section, inside the Bishop’s palace, built in the early 18th century, incorporating the remains of part of the Norman monastery of the 12th century.
It is dedicated to the various prehistoric cultures which succeeded one another on the island of Lipari, from the first human presence in the 5th millennium BC (middle Neolithic) and, in the last room, the topography of Greek Lipàra and the later Roman town.
On the upper floor Room I: first phase of the Eolian Neolithic, probably the last centuries of the 5th millennium BC.
Settlement on the heights of Castellaro Vecchio in the western part of the island (about 400m above sea level).
As well as evidence of the obsidian industry (blades, cones, fragments), which also characterises later cultures of the Eolian Neolithic, there is ‘stentinillian’ style pottery, decorated with incisions or imprints.
Second phase of the Eolian Neolithic: first centuries of the 4th millennium BC.
First human presence on the Castle Rock of people other than those settled at Castellaro Vecchio: three-coloured painted pottery, brown pottery different from that of Castellaro Vecchio, but similar to that found in Yugoslavia or Albania.
Room II: Third phase of the Eolian Neolithic: around 3500 BC.
New settlement on the Castle Rock, characterised by pottery with intricate spiral patterns in the Serra d’Alto style.
Upper Neolithic. Last centuries of the 4th millennium BC.
Contrada Diana is inhabited. Extensive evidence of the working of obsidian.
Trade in this, at its height, was a source of great economic well-being and the exceptional demographic development of the island.
Monochrome pottery with coral paint in the Diana style.
Room III: Upper Neolithic.
More pottery from Contrada Diana.
First phase of the Eneolithic: first centuries of 3rd millennium BC.
Settlement of Spatarella on the western slopes of Monte Giardino.
Settlement of the Castle Rock.
Pottery in Diana style with influences from the previous culture but showing new cultural influences, in form and decoration. Waste from the fusion of copper from the Castle, first important evidence of local metal working.
Reconstruction, in two showcases, of a stratagraphic section of a trench from the Castle digs with the succession of various levels of settlement, from the middle Neolithic to the historical age.
Room IV: Middle phase of the Eneolithic. Around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC.
Culture of Pianoconte (from the locality of the same name on Lipari).
Reddish coloured pottery in Pianoconte style with characteristic decoration in wide brush strokes; fragments of painted pottery in Serraferlicchio style, from Sicily.
Culture of Piano Quartara (from the settlement of the same name on Panarea).
Settlement of contrada Diana. Pottery in the Piano Quartara style which shows contact with the late Eneolithic cultures of Sicily.
Room V: Early Bronze Age. Culture of Capo Graziano.
First phase: first centuries of the 2nd millennium BC.
Piana di Lipari inhabited with crematorium at Contrada Diana.
Room VI: Early Bronze Age.
Evolved and final phases of the culture of Capo Graziano: 18th-15th century BC.
The Castle Rock is inhabited: huts of ‘green phase’ (for this settlement and the successive ones of the Bronze Age, we refer to the colours which differentiate the phases of the planimetry and the sections on the information boards and in the two trenches of the Castle dig and inside the museum).
Pottery in the Capo Graziano style, from the first half of the 16th century BC. Painted pottery of proto-Mycenean/Aegean import.
Middle Bronze Age. Milazzese culture: end of the 15th – first half of the 13th century BC.
Village on the Castle Rock: huts of the ‘red phase’. Milazzese style pottery with shapes and decorations typologically similar to those of the Sicilian culture of Thaspos. Painted Mycenaean pottery (Mycenaean IIIA and early IIIB).
Marks and stamps of Aegean type on local pottery.
Ground Floor. Room VII: Late Bronze Age.
Ausonio I: 1270 BC circa, late 12th century BC.
Village on the Castle Rock: huts of the ‘blue phase’. Pottery with shapes and decorative typologies similar to those of the Late Appeninico of mainland Italy; few fragments of painted pottery of the Mycenaean IIIB and C; bronze objects (in particular fibulas).
Large store of bronzes (about 80kg), inside a huge moulded vase, dating from the end of the Ausonio I period: lumps, ingots, fragments of arms, razors, fibulas and various instruments (scythes, saws).
Ausonio II. Initial phase: late 12th – early 11th century BC.
Crematorium and necropolis of Piazza Monfalcone, where burials were performed in ‘situle’ and ‘pithoi’ (large containers): objects in bronze (fibulas, brooches etc.), precious necklaces in Baltic amber, precious stones, glassy material, crystal pearls of gold rock.
Room VIII: Ausonio II. Late 12th – 10th century BC.
Village on the Castle Rock: huts of the ‘blue phase’. Pottery typologically similar to those of the ‘protovillanoviana’ culture of mainland Italy, of which examples must have been imported with geometrical decoration; pottery decorated in the style of the Sicilian Pantalica II – Cassible culture (10th century BC); numerous pieces of nuraghic pottery from Sardinia; rare fragments of the Mycenaean IIIC.
Room IX: Final phases of Ausonio II.
Pottery remains of the final phase of Ausonio II (late 10th century BC) coming from the layer of destruction of the huts of the Castle village.
Room X: Topography of Graeco-Roman Lipàra.
In the western wall is included a large stretch of the wall of the Norman monastery, which uses blocks of lava stone from the Greek city walls of the 4th century BC.
‘Bothros’ (votive well) complex of the sanctuary of Aeolus from the Acropolis. Circular cover of the ‘Bothros’ in lava stone with handle in the form of a crouched lion (mid 6th century BC); among the many votive offerings (pottery remains, terracotta statues etc. dated between the mid 6th and late 5th century BC, the pitcher with Greek inscription dedicated to Aeolus and the large ‘deinos’ (jug for pouring out water and wine) of Attic production, with black figures by the artist of Antimenes with the exploits of Hercules and Theseus on the outer rim (circa 530 BC).
On show in the same room is Graeco-Roman age pottery, especially from the Acropolis; a marble head of an acrolite (statue with the body in marble and garments in bronze) of the late 5th century BC; bronze coins from Graeco-Roman Lipàra from the late 5th to 1st century BC; a male statue draped in marble from the late 4th – early 3rd century BC from the Acropolis; a marble statue of a girl from the Imperial Roman age from Contrada Diana.
From Room X you pass into the epigraphic garden, bordered to the north and east by the structure of the Norman monastery, where sarcophagi and funeral stands are exhibited.
They are in lava stone with the name of the deceased in Greek and come from the Graeco-Roman necropolis of Contrada Diana.
On the southern side you enter the Epigraphic Pavilion, in a building that exhibits numerous funeral stands and stones from the necropolis, from the 5th to 1st century BC.
SMALLER ISLANDS SECTION. In front of the Prehistoric Section.
Dedicated to the prehistoric settlements of the smaller islands of the Eolian archipelago, from the middle Neolithic to the middle Bronze Age.
Room XI: There are large pots of the Milazzese age from the Portella settlement on Salina.
Room XII: Neolithic and Eneolithic.
Materials from the oval hut of Rinicedda di Leni on Salina, belonging to a middle-Neolithic settlement (last centuries of the 5th millennium BC) contemporary of the older settlement of Lipari, at Castellaro Vecchio: ‘stentinellian’ style pottery.
Artefacts from the upper Neolithic age (second half of the 4th millennium BC) from Salina and Panarea.
Middle-Eneolithic. Culture of Pianoconte.
Stromboli: settlement at Serra Fareddu.
Upper-Eneolithic. Culture of Piano Quartara.
Panarea: settlement at Piano Quartara.
Salina: huts at Serro Brigadiere and Serro dell’Acqua, three vases from a tomb at Malfa.
Early Bronze Age. First phases of the culture of Capo Graziano (20th -19th century BC).
1) Huts of the coastal village of Piano di Porto: pottery.
2) Funeral and burial objects from the rock on the slopes of the Montagnola di Piano Graziano.
Room XIII: Early Bronze Age. Culture of Capo Graziano.
Filicudi: Capo Graziano. Settlement of Montagnola (probably 19th – 18th century BC).
Pottery in the Capo Graziano style, various fictile objects, a form of fusion in stone for the manufacture of bronze instruments; from the early 16th century BC painted Aegean pottery (Mycenaean I and II).
Panarea: vases from the Capo Graziano age, probably from a votive shrine at Punta Peppe Maria.
Alicudi: fragments of the Capo Graziano style from Contrada Fucile.
Room XIV: Early Bronze Age. Culture of Capo Graziano.
Stromboli: settlement of San Vincenzo.
Middle Bronze Age: Milazzese culture.
Filicudi: Montagnola di Capo Graziano. Settlement levels of the Milazzese culture superimposed on the village of the Capo Graziano culture: Milazzese style pottery, fragments of painted Aegean pottery of the Mycenaean III A I.
Room XV: Salina: rubbish tip with pottery materials from the early and middle Bronze Age settlements of Serro dei Cianfi (culture of Capo Graziano and successive Milazzese culture).
Middle Bronze Age: Milazzese culture
Salina: settlement established on the ridge of Contrada Portella (oval huts), Milazzese style pottery, much with potters’ stamps; mesoappeninic pottery from the Italian mainland; precious stone necklaces of Mycenaean origin.
Panarea: settlement of Capo Milazzese (oval huts, one square): Milazzese style pottery with numerous potters’ marks, painted Aegean pottery of the Mycenaean III A and B, mesoappenminic pottery, form of fusion in sandstone for bronze strips.
CLASSICAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL SECTION
In a building of the ex-Fascist internment camp, rebuilt after the war and recently enlarged on the western side.
MILAZZO ARCHAEOLOGY SECTION
Exhibits many artefacts from the digs at Milazzo in the 1950’s.
Room XVI: Reconstruction of the trench from the dig of the middle Bronze Age necropolis of Predio Caravello, belonging to the Milazzese culture (1430 -1270 BC): burial with the body huddled in large ‘pithoi’ (pots).
Room XVII: Protovillanovian necropolis.
Re-constructions, with the original stratigraphy, of a crematorium of the protovillanovian necropolis of the isthmus: 12th century BC, contemporary of the final phase of Ausonio I of Lipari and early Ausonio II (see Prehistoric Section: room VII).
The funeral rite and the form of the urns, inside chambers lined with gravel or in baskets of lithic sheets, correspond to those of the so-called protovillanovian necropolis on the Italian mainland.
Room XVIII: Archaic Greek necropolis of Mylai.
Mylai (Milazzo) was founded around 716 BC as a fortress of the Calcidese colony (founded by Greek colonisers of Calcide in Eubea) of Zancle, today Messina.
The archaic necropolis, established on the isthmus on the same site as the protovillanovian one, is also composed of cremated remains (some reconstructed in the previous room) with ashes in vascular containers of various types and manufacture, including several amphorae.
The objects come from two periods of burial: the first between the late 8th and early 7th century BC, the other between the 7th and early 6th century BC: painted pottery from Corinth, belonging to rather old phases of the protocorinthian production, with refined geometrical decoration, in the older burial areas and to the Ancient Corinthian in the more recent ones: vases of Calcidese colonial production.
Room XXVII: Underwater Archaeology.
Numerous contexts of Eolian underwater archaeology are exhibited.
The sea around the islands constitutes an ‘archaeological gold mine’: loads from ships that sunk in very dangerous stretches of sea, especially during storms, and port rubbish tips in landing places that have now disappeared due to changes in the coastline over the centuries.
The visit begins to the left, moving in a clockwise direction.
Amongst the most important exhibits: Ciabatti wreck – Signorini da Pignataro di Fuori, Lipari: this is one of the most ancient loads of the Mediterranean, with pottery from the early Bronze Age (initial phase of the Capo Graziano culture: early 2nd millennium BC).
Pottery fragments from the archaic Greek era to the Renaissance age from the tip of a port, now disappeared, near Monte Rosa on Lipari.
Wreck from the depths near the crag of Dattilo, Panarea: load of black painted pottery possibly made in a Greek city of southern Italy (late 5th – early 4th century BC).
Wreck F from Capo Graziano, Filicudi: Graeco-Italian amphorae and black painted pottery of Eolian production (early 3rd century BC).
Wreck of Secca di Capistello, Lipari: Graeco-Italian amphorae and black painted pottery Campana A (maybe of Neapolitan production, circa 300-280 BC).
Wreck A, Roghi della Secca di Capo Graziano, Filicudi: in the large pyramid in the centre of the room, vine amphorae Dressel I A and numerous black painted pottery Campana B produced in central Italy. Some Roman bronze coins date the wreck to the 2nd century BC.
Wreck Alberti delle Formiche di Panarea: load of wine amphorae of probable Campana origin and smaller simple vases (amphorae, jugs, etc.). Late 1st century AD.
Wreck of late Roman Imperial Age of Punta Crapazza between Lipari and Vulcano: tin bars of probable Spanish origin, blocks of arsenic sulphide used as colouring etc.
Wreck Filicudi E or ‘dei cannoni’: three bronze cannons from a Spanish warship of the XVII century.
Climb the stairs to the right of the entrance.
Room XIX: Reconstruction of the trench from the dig at the late Bronze Age necropolis of Piazza Monfalcone, Lipari (Prehistoric section Room VII).
Room XX: From this room on all the other rooms of the Classical Pavilion house objects from tombs in the Graeco-Roman necropolis of Contrada Diana, Lipari.
The artefacts on show in room XX offer examples of three categories of product found in the necropolis:
1) Fictile sarcophagi and in lava stone of various typologies (6th-4th century BC).
2) Large vases and amphorae of the Greek era (6th-4th century BC) of various types and manufacture used as containers for objects placed outside the tomb and, sometimes, as cinerary urns.
3) Steles and memorial stones in lava stone of various types which were placed on the tomb as ‘semata’ and in most cases they carried the name of the dead person, from the 5th century BC to the early imperial age.
Numerous other steles and memorial stones are kept in the Epigraphic Pavilion.
Room XXI: Funeral objects from the 6th, 5th and 4th century BC.
6th century BC (showcase on the right of the entrance and the first two sectors along the East wall). The oldest tombs date back to just after the foundation of the colony of Lipàra (580-576 BC).
Among the objects imported pottery, almost all decorated pottery of Corinth, belonging mainly to the very late Corinthian age, particularly the late 6th century BC, including a great number of vascular Attic pots (especially from Athens) with much black figured pottery from the last phase of production between 530-525 and 500-490 BC mostly with battle scenes or subjects directly linked to the worship of Dionysus (the God himself, his following of maenads and satyrs etc.), while some fragments of a high standard represent the first phases of the red-figure production between 520 and 490 BC, including the splendid fragment of stamnos probably showing Dionysus, attributed to one of the most important Athenian potters, the so-called Artist of Berlin.
Of particular interest, among other materials, is the presence of an ancient Egyptian statue in light blue faïence, a characteristic ‘ushabti’ (‘he who responds’, naturally in place of the dead person), important historical evidence of the presence among Lipari’s founders of Greeks from the Nile delta.
5th century BC (showcase along the wall to the right of the entrance).
Still plentiful for almost the whole century, at least for the first seventy-five years, Attic pottery, both black-painted and red-figured.
Among the latter some large craters used as cinerary urns stand out and are displayed in the first central showcase: two important works of the ‘manierist’ phase between 480 and 465 BC, crater with studs by the Artist ‘del Porco’ with scenes of feasting and of palaestra on the other side; a bell-shaped crater by the ‘Artist of Providence’ Eos (dawn) who chases the boy Tithonos to abduct him, and, on the back, the God Hermes; a small group of craters of the late ‘classical’ style of the late 5th century BC.
Few but interesting decorated terracotta objects: a small group of statuettes from two infant tombs of 470-460 BC shows, over and above the possible symbolic meanings, some pictures of domestic life (a mother bathing a child, a woman sewing, another grinding corn); a large bust of a Goddess (Demetra or Persephone) from the late 5th century BC.
4th century BC.
Liparese tomb artefacts offer one of the richest complexes of decorated pottery produced in Greek cities of Sicily.
The beginning of abundant red-figured pottery production in Sicily at the end of the century was largely due to the sharp decline in imports, throughout the Greek colonies of southern Italy, of decorated Attic vases, a decline historically linked to the Peloponnesian war and its western phase (in Sicily).
The cinerary urns displayed in the second, third and fourth central cases belong to a technically and formally more committed production: some of them show figures of clear funerary symbolism, linked to the worship of Dionysus, God of wine but also the God who promises to his devotees, the blessings of the next world, while in others theatre scenes are shown, but these still have a religious significance because Dionysus is also God of the theatre.
A first group is composed of craters by ‘protosicelioti’ potters, between the late 5th and mid 4th century BC from the Artists Santapaola to Prado Flenga.
Around 360 BC the craters of the Louvre Group K240, closely linked to the style of the potter Asteas, among which one showing Dionysus watching an acrobatic display and the other with Dionysus intoxicated.
The pictures of mythical episodes are almost all derived from theatrical works: the two goblet craters by the Artist Adrasto, respectively with Adrasto who soothes the dispute between Tideo and Polinice, antecedent to the mythical saga of the Seven at Thebes, with the antecedent of the tragedy ‘Le Trachinie’ by Sophocles (around 350BC); the round goblet crater by the Artist of Syracuse 47099 with Alcmena at the stake from the lost tragedy of Euripides (around 350 BC) with Ulysses in the land of the Cyclops who receives from Maron, priest of Apollo, the leather bag full of wine with which he will intoxicate Polyphemus and with the death of Ippolito, from ‘Ippolito crowned’ by Euripides.
In the showcase along the north wall of the room are exhibited artefacts of the early 4th century BC (especially the first 25 years) when painted pottery is almost exclusively of Greek-Sicilian production if not local.
Room XXII: Artefacts from the 4th century BC (the last 75 years).
Pottery with red figures is very plentiful in this period especially of Greek-Sicilian production with repetitive icons especially connected with the cultural spheres of Dionysus and Aphrodite.
In particular: vases from the shop of the artist known as Nyn (probably on Lipari between 350 and 325-320 BC), which show clear sytlistic links to the vase painting of workshops from Campania, like the artist Madman, also active on Lipari.
Among the most demanding works of the students of the artist Nyn, the large goblet crater with country banqueting scene.
Foremost in Greek-Sicilian red-figured production of the end of the century, was the personality of the Artist of Cefalù, very active in a Lipari workshop. Among his ‘masterpieces’ the lekane (wide cup with cover used as a cosmetics container and other feminine objects) with Apollo and Artemis.
Various objects from the late 4th century (from 340 onwards) are characterised, especially in the last 25 years, by the presence of Greek-Sicilian pottery with painted decoration (white, yellow and red) of the so-called ‘Gnathia style’ (from the town in Puglia with a flourishing production centre) decorated above all with vine-shoots or convolvulus.
Room. XXIII: Sacred terracotta figures.
The complex of votive terracotta objects from the late 4th and early 5th century BC is conspicuous, from the Sanctuary in Contrada Diana dedicated mainly to the worship of the next world: busts and statuettes of Demetra or Kove (Persephone) and of other divinities (Hermes and Artemis), ‘pinakes’ (pictures in relief with priestesses in ritual acts and feminine divinities.
Theatrical terracotta figures.
From the necropolis of Lipari a rich and ancient collection of terracotta objects with theatrical subjects. More than a thousand pieces, models of masks and statuettes, all of local production found on one site: a uniquely interesting opportunity to deepen knowledge of important aspects of the Greek theatre.
Their exclusive presence on Lipari, in a funeral context, in tombs and in votive graves, finds its explanation in the personality of Dionysus, God of the theatre and the God who guarantees blessings in the next life.
Following the order of exhibition: masks from tragedies, satirical dramas (plays with humorous or comic overtones) and ancient comedy (above all caricature of aspects of political and social life of the times); usually associated in the same tomb (as for the statuettes of the Comedy Mezzo) in groups referring to a single play from the first 60 years of the 4th century BC.
Several characters from tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides have been identified, some of which have not survived: ‘Le Tracinie’, ‘Oedipus Rex’, and the lost ‘Filottete at Troy’, ‘The Trojans’, ‘Alcesti’, and the lost ‘Alexandros’, ‘Chrysippos’, ‘Ecuba’; also ‘Ettore’ by Astidamante the younger (tragedy writer of the 4th century BC).
One group of masks should refer to the ‘Ecclesiazuse’ (women in parliament) by Aristophanes (the master of Ancient Comedy), while the two stupendous masks of Heracles and Hades belong to a lost comedy of a mythological subject.
The statuettes of the actors of the comedy ‘Di Mezzo’ are numerous from the late 4th century BC, old and young people, slaves (also negroes), women, with different types of character and behaviour.
Even more numerous is the group of masks (more than 500) of personalities from the New Comedy of Menandro, from a bourgeois environment, whose production began after 290 BC, the year of the writer’s death.
In the modified theatrical organisation of early Hellenism, the typology appears to be decisively ‘planned’, even though the character of each, with few variants until the Imperial Roman age, is taken with happy expressive realism.
33 of the 44 types listed by Giulio Polluce in his ‘Onomastikon’, encyclopaedia of the 2nd century AD, are represented at Lipari.
The types are divided into five categories: old, young, slaves, old women, young women (family women and hetaere).
Finally a group of small fictile reproductions, masks and statuettes, portraits (in bronze and marble) of famous characters Sophocles, Euripides, Menandro, Homer, Socrates, Lisia, Alexander the Great etc.
Room XXIV: Artefacts from the early 3rd century BC. Until 252-251 BC (destruction of Lipàra by the Romans during the First Punic War).
They are characterised by the abundant presence of decorated pottery in which the traditional red figures are joined by varied lively colours: red, blue, yellow, white etc., which were applied after the firing of the vase, from the Eolian workshops of the early 3rd century BC, which also produced painted pottery in the ‘Gnathia’ style in black paint.
Master of production was the Artist of Lipari, between 300-290 and 270 BC; his students and followers, Artists of the ‘Sphendone bianca’ (a sort of band for women’s hair), of the three Nikai (winged victories), of the Dove and the Falcon (whose vase of the same name from Falcone near Tindari is housed in the museum of Palermo) continued his production after the end of his activity.
Also the subjects depicting the female world and reflecting particular aspects of funeral Dionysusism are peculiar: the frequent representation of wedding scenes symbolises the happiness of the mystical union between the soul and the divinity after death.
The artist of Lipari (with the partial exception of the artist of Falcone) is responsible for the major pictorial and compositive works: e.g. the two large ‘lekanai’ with the Beatitudes of the Elysian Fields, the one with the Nereids carrying the arms of Achilles, the two ‘pissidi skyphoide’ (vases with cover – pissidi – in the form of ‘skyphoi’, that is cups with two handles) with the Godess Hera awaiting marriage etc.
In the field of ‘Gnathia’ style pottery the work of the Artist of the Swans in the decade before the destruction of 252/251 BC is very particular. It is open to a new decorative taste which characterises, in the Greek world, the pottery production of the first Hellenistic phase.
Particularly significant of the phase in which Lipari, from 269 BC, became a Carthaginian naval base , is a funeral stele in lava stone of a Punic type, shaped like an aedicula.
Next to the funeral objects are displayed materials from two ‘favissae’ (votive graves) in the necropolis area.
Room XXV: Reconstruction of a trench from the dig at the necropolis of Contrada Diana, with tombs of various types, superimposed from the 5th to 3rd century BC.
Room XXVI: Lipari – Roman, Byzantine, mediaeval and modern.
The visit starts to the left of the entrance.
On the western face of the ‘panel wall’ that divides the room is a reconstruction of the external stratigraphy of a tower of the city walls of Contrada Diana with the level relating to the destruction of 252-251 BC, which gave up stone catapult projectiles and iron weapons along with a coin-safe.
Proceeding to the left, tomb artefacts of Roman times, from the late 3rd century BC to the 2nd century AD.
In the Republican Age the artefacts are rather modest, from the late 3rd and 2nd century BC very standardised in their vase typology.
Greater variety is offered by the tombs of the late Republican period and the first two centuries of the Imperial age: the two singular vases in terracotta shaped like the head of Iside (with stamp of the potter Dorotheos) and like a dolphin from the same tomb, of around the late 1st century BC, along with singular vases with Egyptian type band decorations; Italic sealed earth, red coral painted pottery (from late 1st century BC to end of 1st century AD); sealed earth of African origin, orange painted pottery (from the late 1st century AD); thin sided vases, especially glasses and small cups with simple decorations (from the 1st century BC to the second century AD); numerous matrix lamps with relief decorated disc of which sufficient examples from the republican period to the late Imperial age are displayed in a special case, glass vases in various forms etc.
Among the other artefacts displayed:
1) Materials of the late 1st and early 2nd century AD from a pottery workshop tip in Contrada Porto delle Genti, Lipari, where amphorae were produced for the export of local goods.
2)Two valuable examples of marble sculpture: portrait of a noblewoman from the Flavian Emperors’ era (70-90AD) and a Barbarian’s head from a sarcophagus with battle scenes between Romans and Barbarians (probably from the early 3rd century AD).
3) Various pagan and Christian funeral epigraphs among which the famous inscription of the Glafiro (2nd century AD) and the Christian inscription of Proba from the late Roman Imperial Age necropolis of Zagami.
4) Various evidence of the late Roman Imperial and Byzantine age (before the conquest of Lipari by the Arabs in 838): a fragment of altar table, lobate in marble with a relief edge decorated with vine shoots (from Panarea (5th-6th century AD).
Wide range of mediaeval, renaissance and modern pottery from the Castle of Lipari (Cloister of the Norman monastery, wells and sewers) especially of Sicilian, southern Italian and Spanish production.
Also on display there is a photographic reproduction of ‘Constitutum’ by the Benedictine abbot Ambrose, important parchment document (conserved at Patti) of 1095 through which the re-population of the islands began in Norman times, after the defeat of the Arabs.
‘ALFREDO RITTMAN’ VOLCANOLOGICAL SECTION
Opposite the prehistoric pavilion, inside a 15th century house and in an annex, a later 17th century building.
Education centre serving as an introduction to the geomorphology of the islands (entirely of volcanic formation) also important for a full understanding of the characteristics of the human settlements that have developed over the centuries.
Set out on three floors.
Ground floor: Archaeology and Volcanology.
The natural resources of the islands (obdsidian, pumice, Kaolin, sulphur etc.) and the various testimonies of their use in relation to cultural material and economic development.
Second floor: General vulcanology.
Third floor: Eolian vulcanology.
SMALL SECTION OF PALAEONTOLOGY OF THE QUATERNARY
In a room of the building that housed the infirmary of the Fascist internment camp.
On display are fossils from Lipari and other islands, a precious source of knowledge about the morphology and forms of animal and vegetable life during the Quaternary, before the first human settlement.
There are also the remains of the oldest known visitor to the islands: a fragment of a tortoise shell which presumably arrived from the mainland on a floating trunk or branch enclosed in the piroclastics of Valle Pera, Lipari dating back to between 127,000 and 92,000 years ago.