The Museum and Florentine Institute of Prehistory was founded in Florence in 1946 in the Palace of the Oblates, in order to gather, preserve and classify the prehistoric collections existing in Florence.
The collections cover a period that ranges from the Pre-stone age to the historical times and represent the manifestations of human activity based first on non productive economy of hunting and crops, then on a productive one based on agriculture, sheepfarming and metal work.
Evidences consist of stone instruments, bone, pottery, copper arms, bronze and by artistic evidences (impressions, photos and originals) etc. accompanied by their respective human kinds, faunal and botanical specimens. The evidences come from excavation and research in Italy and abroad carried out in Europe, Africa, Asia and America from the beginning of prehistoric studies down to the nineteenth century. These forms the «historical» collections, although there are also several collections gathered as a result of recent investigations.
Two floors on the first floor have a specifically didactic layout. The first room is dedicated to the environment, to human fossils and to human culture during the whole prehistoric period. The second room is dedicated to European prehistory.
The exhibition continues with a room that displays, on the left, a series of original evidences of the Paleolithic (stone and bone tools), of the Neolithic (ceramics and stone tools), of the Eneolithic and of the Bronze Age (ceramics, metals, etc). The right side of all the first floor room is dedicated to Italian prehistory with authentic examples, photos, drawings and large slides.
The second floor displays an extraordinary group of European collections from the first discoveries in the field of prehistory, in addition to African and Asian collections. As far as America is concerned, it is worth considering the ethnographic material from Argentina and the stone material belonging to the late North-American prehistoric age.
Extremely interesting is also the photographic permanent exhibition dedicated to the African prehistoric age, reconstructed in its original sizes and represented through the aid of over 60 photomurals.
Ph: +39 055 295159
Tickets: 3,50 euro; 2,50 euro (reduced ticket)
Opening hours: Sundays - closed
Weekdays - 9.30 am - 12.30 pm; Tuesday and Friday: 9.30am - 4.30pm; the ticket office closes 30 minutes before the museum closing time.
Closed: Sunday. December 24,25,26,31; January 1, Easter and Easter Monday, May 1, the second week of August.