From Adventure to Science

History and practice of an archaeological journey

Turin, Museo di Antichità, 17 April - 30 June 2004


The exhibition was conceived and arranged by the Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino in the form of a journey which illustrates to the public at large the transformations and goals of contemporary archaeology, utilizing the 40 years of experience and the evolution of the Centro Scavi. This development has been sustained by a scrupulous methodology which has always aimed to ensure that the investigation of the past is supported by scientific certitudes and a reduction in the number of casual discoveries. In the exhibition the scientific methodology of the research provides the thread of the exhibition itself. The journey takes us into two well-defined sections: adventure and science, in other words those moments which represent the chronology of the evolution of archaeological science, from the time when archaeology was to a large extent considered an adventure where the taste for faraway legends set in exotic or little-explored places joined forces with uncritical perusal of literary sources and a taste for beauty, finally arriving at the modern conception of archaeology seen as a science, viewed through the lens of the work of Centro Scavi. Apart from the documentary side, the current methods of investigation for the reconstruction of the historic-cultural background and the quality of life of human societies of the past were illustrated thanks to the electronic support. The exhibition did not present any artifacts, but it did have an innovative, driving thread since it operated as a large interactive laboratory of knowledge and experimentation, making the most of its didactic and informative character with the aid of multimedial supports, reconstruction of situations, reproductions, computer simulations, interactive workstations, film shows, etc.

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