Museo de Almería, Spain

The Museum of Almería is one of the most important museums in the Almerian province and maintains the largest collection of archaeological remains in Almería. The Museum is situated in Almería (Andalusia, Spain), Carretera de Ronda Street, 91. Created as Provincial Archaeological Museum of Almeria in 1933, outstanding items in its initial collection included those contributed by the Almería Provincial Commission of monuments and the important collacted donated by Luis Siret, a large part of which is exhibited in the National Archaelogical Museum.

The Museum of Almeria is a public museum located in the Spanish city of Almeria, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Property of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain is administered by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of the Junta de Andalucía. It is the most important museum institution in the province of Almeria, housing the largest and most representative collection of archaeological objects of the same.

Siret, the official father of the museum, arrived in 1880 to Almería and with his brother Enrique developed a a great archaeological activity, excavating and doing prospections, studying numerous sites which allowed to establish the first prehistoric sequence of the Southeast of the península.Throughout the 20th century the museum has been enriched by the finds made in the various excavations carried out in the province, which as Siret said “… are missing is a roof in order to be an inmense and unsurpassable museum of Prehistory and Protohistory”.

As an exhibition concept the museum decided to specilise in two particular cultural periods that distinguish our province: Los Millares and El Argar, societies from the 3rd and 2nd millenium BC (on the first and second floors). And in the top floor a exhibition dedicated to the roman society and trade in the South-East and other room with a exhibition devoted to Islamic Almería.

The technical development of the museum presents pieces, graphics, illustrations, audiovisuals and models focused on giving an expositive form to the societies that inhabited the peninsular southeast during the III millennium and the II millennium. On the top floor there are rotating monographic series dedicated to Islamic Almeria.

In the lobby is the so-called Cloud of Siret, whose images and illustrations were taken by Luis Siret, placed in a sculptural way.

The ground floor presents one of the most interesting resources, the reproduction of a stratigraphic cut to a real size, thirteen meters high, where sixteen layers are observed, and the provision of informative supports along its lateral sides. It integrates the historical sequence of the Almeria deposits. The first information medium is a chronological band, and on the other side of the cut a series of plasma screens are installed that project looping sequences on concepts of archeology.

The exhibition area dedicated to research in archeology shows a thematic route from the ground floor to the third floor.

The first floor begins with the room dedicated to the first agricultural and livestock societies.

The exhibition dedicated to Los Millares is structured in the maquette of the Millares, the Circle of Life and the room of The Symbolic and Funerary World:

The most novel is the Millares model, since it is the first approach of a historical interpretation of a territory in a museum. This model tells how was the territory of the Millares during the III millennium also composed of replicas of materials that belonged to the inhabitants of the past.

The Circle of Life incorporates pieces, didactic illustrations, audiovisuals and images that present scientific and historical content.

The Hall of the Symbolic and Funerary World are exhibited funeral wreaths and symbolic elements that are accompanied by an audiovisual projection of a funerary monument that reproduces a burial in the necropolis of Los Millares, although in November of 2016 was broken.

The second floor is dedicated to the agrarian society, which gives way to a village, Fuente Álamo. The typology of the ceramics is exhibited. The tombs 75 and 111 of Fuente Álamo is the most spectacular, since it deals with a girl with social prestige.

On the same floor there is an information point and a rest area where information on other museums, monuments, popular parties and celebrations are offered.

On the third floor there are two rooms, one of them in the central part is El Baco de Chirivel, accompanied by a mosaic from El Villar de Chirivel. Both were achieved thanks to an urgent archeological intervention, in addition, the mosaic presents a trace of the excavator with which it was extracted. There are also Roman remains, such as slaves, coins, hooks, amphoras, salted, unglenished, pieces made in terra sigillata and stucco from Villaricos, The birth of Bacchus.

In the other room stands the Islamic Almeria, which in turn is divided into two areas: One of them shows a graphic with the silhouette of the Alcazaba and funerary remains, and the other of them houses archaeological collections from the Maritime Republic of Pechina And of the Madinat Al-Mariyya.

Due to interventions caused by the growth of the population, there is an engraving of a boat that was extracted from a Muslim dwelling in the present street of the Arc.

The permanent exhibition is located on the first and second floors of the building and they focus mainly on the hunters’ and foragers’ society, the society of the “Millares,” specifically from Santa Fe de Mondújar, Almería and the society of “El Argar” of Antas, Almería. On the second floor, is a metal structure in the middle of the room called the “Circle of Life.” Surrounding it can be found materials that teach us about trade and war of the Millares society. There are also objects related to the daily life of the settlement. The “The Circle of Death” display, with the support of a video projection, shadows and sound, demonstrates much about the collective use of the graves and the ritual sequence carried out with each new burial. On the second floor is an interesting layout of consecutive walls progressing from the bottom to the top, with the intention of showing how the society lived on the hillsides through their terraced homes and landscapes, especially in Fuente-Álamo, Cuevas del Almanzora, Almería. The area includes small sub-rooms with glass cases containing big vessels, bronze weapons, silver and gold objects and ceramics among other remains.

On the third floor can be found a long term display which currently has a large collection of Roman and Andalusian pieces. Of note is the beautiful sculpture which is installed on a large fragment of mosaic. This is the god Bacchus, found in a Roman villa excavated in the town of Chirivel, in the northern part of Almería. In this room can also be found other objects related to the large Roman influence in the Iberian Peninsula, specifically in Almería. One can also appreciate here some Andalusian art which is represented by a large collection of Muslim tombstones, of which Almería was the leading production center. The big cube that occupies the center of the room holds cabinets inside which are dedicated to the caliphate and hold ceramics, toys, coins, and the like.

The museum also holds a library which is open to researchers the general public. The books can be consulted in the library. It has the same hours as the museum, although only from Monday to Friday. There is an educational classroom where the “Friends of the Museum” hold their meetings and other activities take place. The museum holds a large exhibition area on the main floor where other displays of painting, contemporary art, photography, and other topics are displayed. Exhibitions are usually held for one to two months. Finally, there is a large space at the front of the museum which can be used by the general public to put on theater, meetings, cinema, presentations, and other activities. Currently, they have free weekly cinema.