The Archaeology Museum of Catalonia (MAC) features a permanent exhibition of archaeological relics which illustrate the evolution of Catalonia and its surrounding area from prehistoric times to the early Middle Ages. It does so through its collections of items from some of the main archaeological sites in Catalonia and the rest of the Iberian Peninsula and other Mediterranean towns.
In addition to the permanent collection, the Museum d’arqueologia de Catalunya also stages temporary exhibitions, as well as educational workshops and activities for young people.
Its head office is located in the former Palace of Graphic Arts in Montjuïc Hill in Barcelona, which was built for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition. MAC is composed by a group of venues and archaeological sites in several places around Catalonia:
- The Archaeological Museum of Barcelona: officially, Museu d’Arqueologia de Barcelona i Institut de Prehistòria i Arqueologia. The museum was designed by Pelagi Martínez i Patricio and includes prehistoric artefacts and works of art from Ancient Greece and Rome, notably the Greek statue of Asclepius from the 3rd century BCE which was discovered in Empúries.
- The Archaeological Museum of Girona: Founded in 1846 as the Provincial Museum of Antiquities and Fine Arts. It was relocated on several occasions until it arrived at its current location in the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants in 1857. It became a part of MAC in 1992.
- The Greco-Roman city of Empúries: The village of Sant Martí d’Empúries is on a small isthmus that has been settled since the 9th century BCE. Archeological recovery of the site began in 1908 and 25% of the site has been excavated.
- The Iberian settlement of Ullastret
- The monuments of Olèrdola
- The Submarine Archaeology Centre of Catalonia: Officially, Centre d’Arqueologia Subaquàtica de Catalunya (CASC) in Girona. Created in 1992 to protect underwater archeological sites, the centre’s mission is to take inventory, protect, conserve, and study underwater heritage sites in Catalonia. In addition to its own projects, CASC provides support for external archeological teams.
Video: © Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya