// 12.03.2024 - 30.06.2024 / Sala

Women of pre-Roman Italy in the collections of the Spanish National Archaeological Museum

Over the last few years, the role of women in Antiquity has been reassessed and analysed from multiple perspectives. Protohistoric archaeology has looked at the cultures of pre-Roman Italy, developing a methodology of study that has allowed scholars to shift the focus onto the agency and actions of women, who were particularly dynamic.

Madrid’s National Archaeological Museum houses a collection of about 600 bronze artifacts from pre-Roman Italy. Curators Raimon Graells i Fabregat and Margarita Moreno Conde have selected 92 objects from the collection: bracelets, fibulae, pendants, mirrors, terracotta and metal figurines, necklaces and ceramics, through which visitors will learn more about women in those societies.

The exhibition provides a unique and unprecedented opportunity to explore the role of women at different times and situations in their lives, with a focus on the religious, public and private spheres. The geographic area covered is central Italy, from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean, and the exhibits are shown in chronological order, between the 8th and 2nd centuries BCE.

“Women of pre-Roman Italy in the collections of the Spanish National Archaeological Museum” sheds light on the lives of these women, their activities, the roles they played in their cultures, the way in which objects can help us discover more about them, and a methodology to study and provide an accurate picture of their experiences. Women are not shown as passive subjects – far from it, the exhibition’s novel approach proves that women were active and performative agents, essential to collective life in domestic, religious and funerary settings. Thanks to the pieces from the National Archaeological Museum’s extraordinary collection, we can compare the different cultures that inhabited the Italian Peninsula during that period.

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