Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma
Palazzo Altemps

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A brief history of the Institution

The Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, currently responsible for the tutelage of Archaeological heritage in the Comune of Rome has, since its foundation, undergone various changes in name and territorial jurisdiction and competencies. Knowledge of the general shape of these changes is indispensable for discovering which areas of the city are documented in the maps conserved in the Archive.

The main stages in these changes are:

  • 1870: Rome becomes the Capital City of Italy and the Soprintendenza agli Scavi e Monumenti della Provincia di Roma is instituted, with its seat in the Palatine.
  • 1875: The Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione institutes the Direzione Generale dei Musei e Scavi di Antichità(a few years later this is to become the Direzione Generale delle Antichità e Belle Arti = Dir.Gen.AA.BB.AA) which works in strict collaboration with the Soprintendenza. At the time the Soprintendenza was called Ufficio Tecnico per gli Scavi di Antichità di Roma.
  • 1884: The Ufficio Tecnico per gli Scavi di Antichità di Roma becomes Ufficio Tecnico speciale per le Antichità e i Monumenti di Roma e Suburbio, and is divided into three sections:

1. for monuments within the walls,

2. for monuments in the suburbio and finds of antiquity,

3. for the Roman Forum, the Palatine and the Tiber.

  • 1889: the Museo Nazionale Romano is officially instituted at the Terme di Diocleziano, which also includes the antiquities of the Museo Kircheriano. The museum is born to conserve and display the material found during the massive work of enlargement of the city after 1870 and continued its activity to include material from archaeological research and occasional finds on the territory of the Comune of Rome.
  • after 1947: Soprintendenza alle Antichità di Roma

Subsequent development of the action of tutelage and research led, over the years, to improved organisation of the offices on a national scale and the Soprintendenza alle Antichità di Roma took on the territories of Lazio, the provinces of L’Aquila and Chieti and the provinces of Perugia and Terni to the left of the Tiber.

Further division led to a Soprintendenza per il Foro Romano e Palatino (Roma IV, with seat in the Roman Forum) separate from the Soprintendenza alle Antichità del Lazio (Roma I, with its seat in the Terme di Diocleziano) and to the Soprintendenza di Ostia and the Soprintendenza per l’Etruria meridionale.

1975: The office takes the name Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, and assumes its current role on the territory of the Comune of Rome. The Soprintendenza Archeologica per l’Etruria Meridionale, the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Ostia and the Soprintendenza Archeologica per il Lazio continue to function.

2000: The Museo Nazionale Romano is revived with the opening of sectors in Palazzo Massimo, in the Terme di Diocleziano, in the Cripta Balbi, and in Palazzo Altemps.

2002: The Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma becomes autonomous

text: Maria Elena Bertoldi

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Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma © Archivio di documentazione archeologica 2004-07,last revision 2005-2-7, last update by editors
URL: archeoroma.beniculturali.it/ada