Anthropology collections




In 2016, conservation work was carried out on three canoes of particular ethnographic interest that had been displayed at the Botanical Garden as part of the Le piante e l’uomo visitor itinerary (“Plants and humans”).
• A small pirogue (with paddle) with geometric designs carved along the edge and painted red and black. Solomon Islands, Pola collection (second half of the 19th century).
• Large canoe (with eight oars). Brazil, added to the museum collection prior to 1958.
• Arab fishing boat (with sail and oar). Arabian Peninsula, added to the museum collection prior to 1958.




• 9 February – 18 June 2017
Temporary exhibition: DNA. Il grande libro della vita da Mendel alla genomica (“DNA. The great book of life from Mendel to genomics”)
Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome
Loan of 30 facial casts from different ethnic groups Cipriani Collection, 1927-1930.

• 3 December 2015 – 8 May 2016
Temporary exhibition: Cleopatra y la facinación de Egipto (“Cleopatra and the Fascination of Egypt”)
Centro de Exposiciones Arte Canal, Madrid
Loan of an anthropomorphic sarcophagus from the Ptolemaic period




FORGOTTEN TREASURE - The prehistoric and protohistoric collection in the Museum of Anthropology of Padova University. Knowledge of a forgotten treasure of the Athenaeum
The full English title of this university-funded research project is “Forgotten Treasure – The prehistoric and protohistoric collection in the Museum of Anthropology of Padova University. Knowledge of a forgotten treasure of the Athenaeum”. The principal aim of the initiative is to catalogue the pre- and protohistoric items in the collection of the University of Padova’s Museum of Anthropology, and establish a better understanding of their provenance, particularly in terms of their chronological, geographical and cultural context. The project will produce a computer database that it is believed will prove indispensable in evaluating the actual composition of the collection and forming a clear picture not only of the principal stages by which the collection was assembled, but also – and particularly – of the composition, chronology, and characteristics (cultural and otherwise) of the context from which the various items in the collection originally came from. It is hoped that, by doing this, the collection will be more accessible and used to greater effect in future.

Project leader: Michele Cupitò
Grant recipient: Elisa Dalla Longa


Le collezioni osteologiche del Museo di Antropologia: catalogazione, studio, restauro e valorizzazione (“Researching, cataloguing, conserving and better utilising the osteological collections of the Museum of Anthropology”)
A research project investigating the museum’s osteological collections, and the collection of human remains from Al Khiday (Central Sudan). The project includes: 1) the creation of a comprehensive catalogue that is compliant with the Ministerial standards established by the ICCD (Central Catalogue and Documentation Institute) and that will be incorporated into special national and international databases; 2) anthropological analysis of human remains of archaeological interest, with a view to publishing hitherto unpublished data from excavations carried out in the 19th and 20th century; 3) the selection, conservation and preparation of skeletal specimens for an exhibition dedicated to the collection from Sudan, and for the end-of-project exhibition at Palazzo Cavalli; 4) collaborating with current and future research projects, using advanced instruments and technologies (e.g. radiological, microstructure and biomolecular analysis) to investigate skeletal modifications during the various stages of growth, including analysis of the effects of illness (plague, tuberculosis, syphilis, meningitis, cancer) and nutritional deficiencies (pellagra).

Project leader: Telmo Pievani
Grant recipient: Cinzia Scaggion