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Mostra Archeologica Permanente

The Archaeological Museum of Orentano supports, through original artefacts (stone tools, ceramics, metals, coins and wooden objects), plastic reconstructions and educational panels, the history of the northern part of the municipality of Castelfranco di Sotto, on the Cerbaie Hills slopes’ facing the ancient Lake of Bientina and the Lucca plain.

The prehistoric section displays a selection of knapped stone tools from the temporary camps of hunters-gatherers groups who haunted the Cerbaie Hills between the Lower and the Upper Palaeolithic. Some rare examples of chopping tools and bifacial are of particular interest.

The first stable settlements are known in the Bronze Age and they are preferably located in the plain, near streams where people could carry out agricultural activities and livestock. It is from one of these small villages that comes the burial of an adult woman, dating back to 1200 BC. The Bronze Age hut, recently excavated at “I Cavi”, that also allowed its scale reconstruction, is of particular interest for the area.

The Etruscan period is illustrated by numerous artefacts from the Ponte Gini settlement, excavated between 1983 and 1986: bronze and glass paste jewellery, coins and common use tools, wine amphorae and fine table pottery along with examples of cremation tombs with club memorial stones and grave goods.

The wooden Roman bridge remains discovered in the plain of Orentano in 1989 and illustrated by a plastic reconstruction are of particular interest for the rarity of the findings. From this excavation come potteries, jewelleries, weapons, iron tools, rare agricultural and carpentry tools (some of which still retain the wooden handles), coins and metal parts of vehicles and horses harnesses. The wide variety of lead net weights recording the ancient fishing activity is of particular interest.

A further element of great archaeological rarity, at least in our latitudes, is the Medieval Age canoe made from one single log of oak that supports the ancient origin of navigation techniques in the waters of the ancient Lake of Bientina.

The museum tour ends with the exhibit of a small hoard of Lucca and Pisa coins dated back to the 13th century, recovered near a river port at the foothills of the former Orentano castle.

The museum carries out uninterruptedly didactic work addressed to the territory schools and also spread work addressed to adults with meetings, conferences and exhibitions.