This Museum has reopened on December 6, 2014, after being closed for about six years; period in which it was radically renovated and adapted to the parameters of modern museology.
The importance of the museum is related to the fact that the "upper Valdarno" (that is, the region in which the town of Montevarchi is located) is one of the most important European basins in which fauna and flora of the Pliocene and Pleistocene eras was discovered.
Given the presence in these periods (5 to 2 million years ago) of a very wide inland lake in the area where now the river Arno flows, the sediments of shallow water have well-preserved fossil remains of the fauna of the period; remains that you now appreciate here (but also in the Museums of Natural History in Florence, Basel, Paris and London: the international renown of these findings grew very much after Georges Cuvier, the founder of modern paleontology, paied attention to them).
The Museum has now been deeply renewed as for the exhibition criteria, making it more suitable to the visits of an audience of non-specialists (and particularly of school children); but a small part of the Museum has preserved the old armchairs and old exhibition criteria, just to give the idea of museology of the past.
At the entrance of the Museum the enormous tusks (which have become the symbol of the museum) of a "Mammuthus meridionalis" welcome you. But many more are the reasons of high interest. We mention among them the bones of other animals, typical of an environment very different from the present, ie tropical forest or savanna: hippos, tapirs, cheetahs, Barbary apes; and also dogs and horses of species different from those of today.
We report two reconstructions particularly impressive: the deposits of bones of animals hunted by giant hyenas ("Pachycrocuta brevirostris"), which - like their descendants today - could prey on larger animals due to their organization in herds; and the skeleton of a mammoth that bears traces of hunting from an early human species present in Italy: a local colony of "Homo heidelbergensis" (about 200,000 years ago).
Overall you can define this museum the main attraction of Montevarchi: I recommend a visit.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.