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Roman Modena

Valiant and splendid Mutina

3rd century B.C. – 6th century A.D.


Mutina is a buried city. The thick layers of alluvial sediment that covered it between late Antiquity and the Middle Ages largely preserved homes, streets, public buildings and necropolises, which reemerge each time the subsoil is investigated, reconstructing the image of a city that Cicero described as “splendid and flourishing”.

Of particular interest among the numerous artifacts on display are the rich furnishings of the 1st century domus rediscovered in the 1960s in Via Università, in the heart of the historic center. The dig turned up pieces in bronze that were part of the house’s décor: a refined fountain with duck-shaped water jets which likely occupied the center of the garden and a series of supports for triclinium dining beds (link to the restoration project), as well as table columns and a candelabra, which in all likelihood decorated the triclinium.


Also on display is a selection of grave goods from urban necropolises of the imperial age and late antiquity, which occupy previously urbanized areas. Of particular interest among them is the one from the sarcophagus discovered in Piazza Matteotti in 1947, which includes wooden objects, valuable hairpins with gold parts and elegant glass containers.

The discovery in 2009 of a piece of road with necropolises alongside it created the premise for the development of the only part of ancient Mutina that is visible in the city: the NoviArk Archaeological Park.

Documentation on all of the discoveries of the Roman city is accessible on the website, which also offers a bird’s-eye view of the ancient urban structure, reconstructed in its entirety, and the virtual exploration of the most important monuments of Mutina.