Museo Archeologico

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Living in a city full of major archaeological sites is not doing anything to quash my delusions that I am, in fact, Indiana Jones. Ah, so he’s a fictional character, and a male one at that – these facts do not stop archaeology students writing ‘love you’ on their eyelids and blinking at me as I lecture on excavating ancient valuables*. I recently ventured to the Museo Archeologico to check out the work of archaeologist Paolo Orsi (one of my, um, peers; he was also around in the 30s).

I discovered that elephants once existed in Sicily. Small ones. A long time ago. But at least I finally got to the bottom of why Catania’s city symbol is an elephant. I also learned the history of the Temple of Apollo and other local sites with equally dramatic-sounding names.

The building itself looks like some 1960s monstrosity, though was in fact built in 1988 (shortly before Spielberg released my Last Crusade). It’s an ugly concrete building but I liked it in a way – big open spaces and lots of light. The gardens are beautiful (and practically on the same street as my place of work – I mean in my other job, when I’m not searching for treasure with my bullwhip and fedora).

The amount of items on display in the museum is mind boggling. Obviously I’m used to seeing many, many archaeological finds in one place, but I have to admit this may have been some kind of record. There is really too much to take in; I saw so many pots in Sections A-C I felt like crawling into one for a little sleep. By the time I got to Section D I was almost glad it barely existed as I’d seen more than enough for one day. It was very interesting, there was just too much of it to get my perfectly chiselled head around.

But there’s something to be said for looking at treasure within the safe confines of a museum. At least there weren’t any snakes.

*Possibly a lie

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  1. […] In my last few weeks on the island, my friend Aisling and I decided to dress as explorers and investigate some of the archaeological sites and nature in Siracusa. This probably didn’t help my delusions that I was Indiana Jones, as mentioned in this previous post: […]

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