Toward Camonica Valley’s National Museum of Prehistory
Why a National Prehistory Museum in the Valley of the Engravings?
Valle Camonica is world famous for its extraordinary complex of rock engravings, most of which are prehistoric in date. Although the general public is aware of this iconographic inheritance left by the valley’s ancient inhabitants, knowledge concerning their daily lives - which has emerged only in the last 30 years thanks to numerous rescue and research excavations - is less widespread. Various settlements, workplaces, cult sites and burial grounds used by these people - known from the Iron Age onwards as Camunni - have been found. In the National Prehistory Museum, housed in the old Villa Agostani in Capo di Ponte’s historic centre, a display of archaeological finds and the heritage of rock-engraved figures are combined into an integral expression of Valle Camonica’s identity. The visit begins on the ground floor: a series of vaulted rooms are devoted to the theme Religious centres: Copper Age megalithic sanctuaries, which continues in the lightweight extension to the rear. More than 50 engraved steles and menhirs illustrate the nature of the Copper Age (4th-3rd millennium BC) megalithic sanctuaries: Cemmo, Bagnolo, Ossimo-Anvoia and Ossimo-Pat. These are particularly evocative exhibits - and in some cases enormous - which embody the valley’s participation in the widespread phenomenon of European megalithism. The itinerary continues on the first floor, where a large hall contains the sections on material culture: The first settlement of the valley in the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic, Neolithization and the transformation of the landscape, Settlements, Places of work, Burials and, continuing the subject of the ground-floor section, Proto-historical sacred sites and aspects of cult.
Go beyond the museum with a touch
The traditional exhibition of material in display cases is extended and enriched by 5 touchscreens which allow the visitor to explore in more detail a number of topics by choosing the appropriate links: history of research, UNESCO and rock art parks, settlements, sacred sites, writing, Copper Age sanctuaries.
Advice for visitors to MUPRE
Booking is advised for school parties and other groups even if guided visits are not required. For groups without booking, entry will depend upon the number of visitors already present in the museum. For further information: