• Siena

    Prehistory and archaeological collections

The wealth of documentary information and objects present today at the seats of the various Departmental Sections of Historic Sciences and Cultural Heritage grew up over the course of more than thirty years of research and investigation carried out in Tuscany, in Italy, and abroad.  Added to what may be described in strict terms as the archaeological collection are educational materials in the form of replicas, casts, and copies concerning artistic production and expression.

The archaeological collections, currently held for temporary safekeeping in Department Laboratories, comprise finds unearthed during research activities in the field (digs and reconnaissance expeditions) as well as educational collections, panels, reproductions and replicas.  This legacy includes artifacts in stone, ceramic, metal and glass, coins, frescos, as well as faunal, paleobotanical and anthropological finds.  Some make up thematic collections organized according to chronology, culture, or location of the archaeological site.

The largest collections gather together ceramic works from various civilizations in the Ancient World, from prehistoric times to the Renaissance, coming mostly from Tuscany, because the finds were closely tied to research activities conducted primarily within the region.

The Museum System of the University of Siena (Sistema Museale dell’Università di SienaSIMUS) is the tangible result of centuries of study and research carried out in and around Siena.  The System constitutes a summa on the evolution of thought, scientific or otherwise, through collections of tools, finds, educational models, memorabilia and archival documents.  Thanks to the passionate commitment of researchers and university staff, museum resources of this sort continue in the present day to provide an effective educational tool to be used in teaching and disseminating knowledge.

Archaeology and sight impairment. Tactile-olfactory approaches to the collections: in the Prehistory section, one part of the collections has been organized as an inclusive tactile and olfactory itinerary, making further use of replicas created by the Experimental Archaeology Laboratory.

Prehistory and archaeological collections (The Museum System of the University of Siena)
Università di Siena
Via Roma 56
53100 Siena
Tel. 0577 234876 – 233676 – 233634

For further information:
Andrea Zifferero
tel. 0577 233659
email: andrea.zifferero@unisi.it


from Monday to Friday
, 9am to 1pm to 3pm-5pm

open by reservation




free admission

For further information on fares, reduced prices and booking, please contact the museum

“In the fiery and concentrated beauty of Siena there is an artificial note that recalls a city perched atop a hill in an old painting. From the fortifications one views the entire city, the white and brown houses, with brown-hued roofs and smooth façades pierced by multiple windows. […] All around reigns the peace of a green world, now sloping down into valleys strewn with red earth and veiled by the gray mist of the olive trees, with cypresses reaching darkly into the sky, now rising into hills”.  (A. Symons, 1907)

In Siena, the flavor, the taste, the view of the city are still the same as those evoked by the words of the English poet who visited and certainly fell in love with the place more than a century ago. Siena sits composedly, perched on its hills.  Move away just a little, and you can take it in all at once, the unmistakable skyline of its elongated silhouette, its walls, the Torre del Mangia and the dome of the Cathedral. And it is not even so different, in certain glimpses, from the way its most beloved painters depicted it in the 1300s and 1400s, from Lorenzetti to Simone Martini, from Sano di Pietro to Vecchietta.

The city’s sensual and harmonious relationship with the landscape that surrounds and protects it is also fundamentally unchanged. The hills, cypresses, red earth and olive trees can be reached on foot by walking out through the ancient gates, or else still inside the city, in the protected and precious green valleys that have remained within the walls.

With its slow, almost dreamlike way of life, Siena should be visited calmly, for it needs to be savoured unhurriedly. Stroll through Siena and let yourself be guided by curiosity.  Slip into the alleys, look for quiet hidden places, explore a museum, a church or a beautiful palazzo.