The Gozo Museum of Archaeology (Maltese: Il-Mużew tal-Arkeoloġija ta’ Għawdex) is a museum in the Cittadella of Victoria in Gozo, Malta. The museum of was opened in 1960 as the first public museum in Gozo and was known as the Gozo Museum. The museum was redesigned and reopened in 1986 as the Archaeology Museum of Gozo. Today it is known as the Gozo Museum of Archaeology or the National Museum of Archaeology. The museum features archaeological artifacts and relics and displays covering the cultural history of the Island of Gozo from the prehistoric era to the early modern period. Its exhibits include the Majmuna Stone.
The Gozo Museum of Archaeology illustrates the cultural history of Gozo from prehistoric times to the early modern period. It relies on themes like burial, religion, art, food and daily life, making use of material from various archaeological sites in Gozo.
The Museum is located immediately behind the original gateway to the Citadel and is housed in a 17th century townhouse which was once the residence of the Bondì family. Subsequently, it fell into disuse and remained long neglected until Sir Harry Luke, Lieutenant Governor of the Maltese Islands, took the initiative to restore it in 1937. In May 1960, Casa Bondì was inaugurated as the first publicmuseum of Gozo hosting artefacts of archaeological and of ethnographic nature. The building came to house the archaeological collection in 1986 as part of a reorganisation programme of the Gozo museum collection into separate collections housed in separate buildings in the Citadel.
The museum is housed in a 17th-century house which was originally known as Casa Bondi. It is a two-storey building with a symmetrical austere façade, with a carved stone balcony above the front door.
The museum is housed in a seventeenth century building located in the citadel of Ir-Rabat. It served initially as a town hall where the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem received their distinguished guests. It has also served as home to the Bondì family, hence the name of Casa Bondì under which it is also known. Deceased, it was restored in 1937 by Sir Harry Luke, Lieutenant Governor of Malta. In 1960, it hosts the first public museum of the island; his collections then include archaeological and ethnographic objects. In 1986, non-archaeological collections were transferred to other buildings in the citadel.
The building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands.
Following a series of recent upgrading interventions, the Museum’s permanent display is, at present, divided into three main sections: Prehistory, the Classical period, and the Medieval and Early Modern periods.
The prehistoric display is spread out in several rooms and spaces and focuses on a number of themes like the natural resources, subsistence and daily life, religious beliefs and practices and burial customs.
The museum contains objects found on Gozo Island from prehistory to the Middle Ages. It includes stone slabs from Ġgantija temples, figurines from the circle of Brochtorff at Ix-Xagħra, funerary slabs belonging perhaps to crusaders stranded in Malta after a storm at the beginning of the eighth crusade, or the stele of Maïmouna, a Muslim funerary inscription.
The Classical Period is represented by a number of Phoenician, Punic, and Roman artefacts found on several sites in Gozo and Comino. Artefacts range from those associated with burial to statuary and the decorative arts. The museum visit ends with a display of materials from the Medieval and Early Modern periods, closing with the arrival of the Knights of St John.