The museum originated in the early '50s thanks to the rector of the church, Peter Monti: repair work of the ancient chapel dedicated to the martyr St. Restituta (whose relics came to Ischia in the fifth century and were placed here before being transferred to Naples in the ninth century), located on the square in the center of Lacco Ameno, brought to light in 1951, an early Christian crypt just below the floor.
The discovery of a clay oil lamp dated between VI century BC to seventh century impressed a driving force in the work of excavation, which soon led to the discovery of an ancient Christian cemetery and later tombs of many Phoenician, Punic and Roman-greek.
The excavations and the museum had final settlement in 1974 and currently the museum is superordinate to the Curia of Naples and the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of the provinces of Naples and Caserta.
The peculiarity of museum is represented by the mingling of the excavation areas and the level museum: in fact it was built on the same sites of ancient settlements, and has come to collect, over time, even the findings from other parts of 'island.
The excavations have allowed scientists to identify a cemetery and an "industrial" area in which there were the ovens for baking the clay.
The Pithecusan vessels were processed and cooked in that point and then be sold and exported throughout the Mediterranean.
It is therefore possible to observe fragments and shards of amphorae for wine, food and figurines depicting divine figures, such as the head of the nymph Arethusa (fourth century BC) and the Head of Demeter (fourth century BC), a clay lekythos and black paint (fourth century BC).
Simultaneously, within the course of the excavations, you can see a comprehensive overview of the history of the island of Ischia: from prehistory to the Hellenistic-Roman-Greek period up to the testimonies of early Christianity.
The museum, which is accessed from the courtyard of the Church, occupies an area of about 1550 square meters and is divided into two floors.
The upper floor has three rooms with a display of ornaments, votive offerings of silver, paintings, robes, shepherds from crib, reliquaries, processional crosses, missals, Neapolitan statues of the Seven / Eight hundred and medieval ceramics.
The archaeological area below is divided into four sectors.
I SECTOR: Is the industrial plants with Greek kilns, workshops for clay working, settling basins dating from the seventh to second century. B.C.
II SECTOR: We will find walls, visible on the bottom; other tombs carved on the floor and a Roman altar of local stone that protects an urn with the relics of St. Restituta.
III SECTOR: A Large underground room arranged as a museum: collects the signs of the presence and life of the early Greek settlers.
IV SECTOR: A Christian cemetery. Air around the cemetery, you can admire the many tombs that are superimposed on a three-pronged plan.
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