The Museum

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Museo dell'Abruzzo Bizantino ed Altomedioevale (Abruzzo Byzantine and Medieval Archeological Museum) was born as a result of the excavation carried out in the big Roman Byzantine Villa located in Vassarella - Casino Vezzani of Crecchio, a few kilometres from the city centre.  The Villa was identified  for the first time in 1973 when a vineyard was planted. Between 1988 and 1991, the  Archeoclub d’Italia based in Crecchio, the Soprintendenza per i beni archeologici dell’Abruzzo (Archeological Trust of Abruzzo) and the Crecchio Town Hall collaborated in a project which started by emptying a cistern which was full of concrete (came to light by the remains of the Villa)  from which hundreds of precious fragments were recuperated: china plates , precious bronze objects, painted ceramics imported from Egypt, guilded silver and bronze jewellery. They were found here mainly because of the closeness of the port of Ortona from where the Byzantine ships traded with Asia Minor, Syria , Palestine, Africa and Egypt.


The results of the excavation shows us clearly what the Villa in Vassarella was like, namely the  centre of agriculture and pastoral farming of the area which supplied the nearby port of Ortona, the capital of Byzantine Abruzzo. Objects of a high value such as the big guilded bronze basin and the handle of a bronze wash basin jug testify the presence of high socially ranked people at the Villa, maybe those which were the last owners of the Villa between the second half of the 6th Century and the first decade of the 7th Century. Thanks to these exceptional discoveries, a big exhibition of “Dall’Egitto copto all’Abruzzo Bizantino” (from the Coptic Egypt to the Abruzzo Byzantine) at the Ducale Castle of Crecchio was opened in 1993, which became in 1995 a permanent exhibtiion centre named Museo dell’Abruzzo Bizantino ed Altomedievale (Abruzzo Byzantine and Medieval Archeological Museum ).