The Aegean Collections

Luigi Adriano Milani, Director of the "Regio Museo Archeologico" of Florence - this was the name of the present "Museo Archeologico Nazionale" of Florence - arranged a dedicated room, Room XVII (FIG. 1), for the exhibition of a specific section defined "Prehellenic antiquities", formed by a number of lots, inclusive of "not only the characteristic manufactured objects of Aegean and Mycenaean world but also of the Premycenaean civilisation in Anatolia and Greek Islands, and of Protogreek civilisation in Rhodes and Cyprus" (Milani, A Guide to "Il Regio Museo Archeologico di Firenze", Firenze 1912, pp.84-85). The origin of these lots is various, although developing within a period slightly longer than a decade (between the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century).

The first research project we have devoted to the creation of interactive museums, MUSINT, focuses on these collections, with a subdivision of the objects following the pertaining areas of provenance (FIG. 2). The whole collection, after a period of a limited exhibition during the first half of the twentieth century, was transferred in the storerooms of the museum (FIG. 3), where only specialists are admitted. Finally, a room in the "Greek section" of the museum is now dedicated to the Aegean and Cypriote collections, and a selection of objects may be viewed by visitors (FIG. 4).

Among the materials coming from Crete and Greece, we find also Aegean seals and sealings coming from Haghia Triada (Crete), which are the object, together with analogous sealings kept in the Pigorini Museum in Rome, of the MUSINT II Project. Seals and sealings have a completely different story since their arrival to the museum of Florence. They were at once placed within a specific section of the museum, concerning glyptics and numismatics, defined as "Monetiere", which is irregularly opened to visitors (FIG. 5); only four of them are located in the room of the Greek section.

Both projects MUSINT and MUSINT II make an exploration of the whole collection possible 4 using 3D models and we hope that in the next future this virtual and interactive visit may be joined by an actual exhibition of the objects.

FIG. 1 FIG. 2 FIG. 3 FIG. 4 FIG. 5