Archaeological Museum of Gela

The museum illustrates the history of ancient Gela and its surroundings through pottery, bronzes and coins dated, from prehistory to Middle Age.

Info & Booking

The museum is next to the Acropolis of the Greek town (open daily 9am-1pm and 2pm-up to an hour before sunset).

Cashier closes thirty minutes before the site closure.

Tickets are valid for the museum and the historical walls of capo Soprano.

Reserved tickets must be picked up showing the confirmation voucher at the cashier.

Cancellation policy: cancellations must be made at least 1 working day before the visit to get the refund of the unused tickets minus the service fee; further cancellations and no shows are not refundable.

Archaeological Museum of Gela

Archaeological Museum of Gela
Restored and updated in 1995, the Archaeological Museum of Gela illustrates the history of ancient Gela and its surroundings through remarkable pottery, bronzes, and coins from before recorded history to the Middle Ages.

According to Thucydides, the Ancient Greek historian of the fifth century BC, Gela was the first Rodian-Cretan colony founded in Sicily, in 689-688 BC.

Gela soon became one of the most important towns of the island and was a rival of Siracusa itself. Aiming to expand and control the area, it founded Akragas (Agrigento) in 581 BC, and later extended its power up to the Straits of Messina.

In the second half of the 5th century, Gela began to decline. In 405 BC it was conquered and destroyed by the Carthaginians. Rebuilt in the 4th century BC, it was attacked many times by Siracusa. Between 285 and 282 BC it was destroyed by the tyrant of Agrigento, Phintias, who moved its inhabitants to Licata where he founded a new town called Phintiade.

The oldest core of the museum collections is constituted by the Navarra and Nocera collections.

The Navarra collection was bought in the 1950s and includes a big number of Corinthian and Attic vases with black or red figures, coming from the clandestine excavations made in the necropolis and collected at the end of the 19th century by Baron Giuseppe Navarra.

Some of the Attic vases with black figures (end of 6th - beginning 5th century BC) are attributed to the Painter of Gela and to the Painter of Eucharides, and many lekythoi (pottery for the storage of especially oil) to the Phanillys class.

More recent Attic vases (first half of the 5th century BC) exhibited were made by important Attic terracotta painters who arrived in Gela by merchant boats. Among them were the Painter of Edinburgh, Painter of Boreas, Painter of the Phial of Boston, Painter of the Porci, Painter of Berlin, and Painter of Brygos. The wreck of one of these boats was found off the coast and offered the chance of obtaining important data for studying the ancient naval architecture and the trade between the old colony and other towns in Greece.

The museum is organized into eight richly documented sections.

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