It is Homo sapiens, our species, that takes centre stage in the Anthropology section: from its origins as a group of apes that adapted gradually to walking upright on two legs, to the earliest examples of tools made of stone and metal, and then the long journey that began in Africa and took humankind to all corners of the Earth.

Since the early 19th century, the volume and the variety of the collections have steadily increased, along with the development of anthropological sciences in Padua. There are more than 25,000 items in the collections today, most of which catalogued.

These include important prehistoric human skeletal remains and many specimens of archaeological interest, as well as invaluable ethnographic artefacts that are testament to the expressive richness of many human cultures.


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Palethnology Collections
The palethnology collections comprise some 13,000 items coming mostly from Bronze Age and Iron Age sites in the Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Emilia Romagna and Lombardy regions of Italy, and from other central, southern and island locations of the country. The finds from the Friuli area are particularly significant and abundant in number. They include many artefacts made of stone, also tools and ornaments of bone, horn and bronze, and pottery shards, unearthed during excav[...]
Ethnographic Collections
The Capra Collection, acquired in the late 1920s, is of considerable historic and ethnographic value and includes objects coming from Australia, New Guinea and New Zealand: a set of wooden shields painted with geometric motifs, a number of flat clubs, throwing weapons, staffs, boomerangs of various shapes, spear-throwers decorated with shells, stone axes, message-sticks, a selection of bows and arrows, and other traditional objects connected with Maori culture. In the period from 1934 to 1936, t[...]
Osteology Collections
The osteology collections have evolved through donations or exchanges with other museums or anthropological institutes, also archaeological excavations of burial sites, hill forts (settlements of the Bronze Age and Iron Age) or caves, and exhumations of cemeteries or ossuaries, as well as purchases from hospitals or other agencies and charities. Some exhibits are datable to the prehistoric or protohistoric era but the majority are from the late 19th century and the early years of the 20th centur[...]
Collection of oriental art objects
A large collection of objects from Museum of Oriental Art of Ca’ Pesaro and Enrico di Borbone