The tour of the L. Pigorini Museum, also known as National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography of Rome, begins in the district EUR, designed for the Universal Exhibition of Rome, which was to take place in 1942 to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the fascist march on Rome in 1922, the cancelled because of the World War II.
The Museum has its current headquarters in the Palazzo delle Scienze, where it was transferred between 1962 and 1977; it was originally housed in the center of Rome, in the Palazzo del Collegio Romano of the Society of Jesus, which was opened in 1876 thanks to the capable and tenacious work of its founder, the paleontologist Louis Pigorini.
Based on the concepts of Darwinian positivist and evolutionary theories of that were gaining ground in Italy in the second half of the nineteenth century, the prehistoric and ethnographic collections of the Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in Rome were formed and expanded, with the aim of reconstructing the prehistory of the Western world where it was not possible physically to document evolution with the archaeological tools of the time: the study of the habits, customs and material culture of the primitive would serve to help understand the evolution of Italian and European prehistoric societies.
The National Museum Luigi Pigorini, was thus divided from the beginning into two distinct sections: Prehistory and Ethnography. Currently, the theoretical assumptions that led to the creation of the Museum have been surpassed, both sections can all the same be still of exceptional scientific value at a national and international level, and as such should be viewed separately.
We can carry out the tour of the National Museum of Prehistory and Ethnography in the chronologically structured section on Prehistory; it is mainly dedicated to prehistory and the early history of Lazio and there are presented the main findings to do with the cultures of the region of Lazio from its origins to the Iron Age.
Then, the tour of the museum Pigorini, will revolve around the section of Ethnography, divided in its display in three geographic-cultural areas: Africa (First African objects in Italy; The exploration of the interior of the continent;the discovery of ‘BlackArt’), the Americas (population and conquest Mesoamerica, Central America, Andean World) and Oceania (Houses of men, the houses of spirits; Art and Society; The competition for power; Ancestor worship; the sacredness of power; Man and the earth).