Orari di visita

Lun. Dalle 09.00 alle 14.00
Mar- Dom: dalle 8.30 alle 18.30

Info e Prenotazioni

Lun.-ven. 8.30-19.00
Sab. 08.30-13.00

Tel: +39 0115617776
Fax:+39 011 562 3157

Eventi in programma

March 2018
« Jan    

Special Openings

Friday 8th and Saturday 9th december 2017

9 am – 9 pm

Christmas Holidays

Sunday 24th December 2017

9am – 2 pm

Tuesday 26th December 2017 and Saturday 1st January 2018

9 am – 9 pm


The exhibition aims to tell the activities of the Missione Archeologica Italiana (M.A.I.) and its founder Ernesto Schiaparelli in Egypt .
The path, through the exhibition of more than 400 objects including finds, documents, letters, films, photographs and historic posters, aims to transport you to the time of archaeological discoveries that have been at the base of the formation of the Museum’s collection.

A journey that takes the visitor back in time to discover a never-seen-before Turin, Europe and Egypt.



The European archeology in the Mediterranean before the Great War

The decades around the turn of the century are characterized by the European scramble for the conquest of Africa. Italy takes advantage of the few power holes on the African arena to start a colonial policy. The unfortunate Ethiopian campaign of the 1887-1896 moves the Italian attention towards the territories of the decadent Turkish empire: Libya, since 1911, and the Dodecanese, since 1912. The presence of Italian archaeologists in North Africa, Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, therefore, is based on scientific and cultural reasons, often supported by nationalist ideological beliefs and inserted in more general political interest in these territories.

30_SEZ A

Discover the exhibition

B – Ernesto Schiaparelli and his time

Ernesto Schiaparelli becomes director of the Royal Museum of Egyptian Antiquities and Turin in 1894, where he devotes himself to the renovation of the collection, increasing it with targeted purchases and, from 1903 to 1920, with fortunate excavations in Egypt.

C – Italian archaeology in Eastern Mediterranean

At the end of the nineteenth century, with considerable delay compared to other European archaeological missions that have long since started out exploring its borders, the first Italian archaeological mission arrives in the eastern Mediterranean.

D – Egypt and the birth of Egyptian archeology

The section revolves around the part of Egypt overlooking the twentieth century, between the British protectorate, poorly tolerated by the local population, the many foreigners in the area that power a growing economy, and the important active excavation missions throughout the territory.

E – Life as an archaeologist

The preparation of the archaeological mission directed by Schiaparelli requires detailed planning of logistics. Once obtained excavation permits, the travels, materials and work equipment are arranged, and the most trusted collaborators are contacted.

F – The workers and the dig

“(…) the works on the dig began with a good number of workers, that increased to beyond 300. (…) Men work with some short and wide hoes, the same ones that endeavor in agricultural work, but most of the work is done away from the guys who have to transport the excavated material…”

G1 – Heliopolis and Giza

The digging in the two major northern sites begin in 1903, but in Giza they end after the first campaign, while in Heliopolis works continue until 1906.

G2 – The Valley of the Queens

In 1903, the Italian Mission began its work in the Valley of the Queens. Here we explore sixty tombs of dignitaries, princes and royal brides of the New Kingdom. The most important finding is the tomb, already looted but beautifully decorated, of Queen Nefertari (QV 66), wife of the pharaoh Ramses II.

G3 – Merit and the tomb of Kha

1905 sees the beginning of the dig at Deir el-Medina, the ancient site of the artisans’ village who worked in the royal necropolis of West Thebes during the New Kingdom. Many artifacts have been found in this area, but the most sensational discoveries are made in the necropolis of the artisans, in particular the tomb of the “construction manager in the Great Headquarters” Kha and his wife Merit.

G4 – Gebelein and Virginio Rosa

Gebelein, a few kilometers away from Luxor, is a rich site certifying all stages of Egyptian history. Explored between 1910 and 1920, the necropolis preserved a few intact tombs. Among these, the one called “of the Unknowns” or that of Ini, an important administrative and clerical officer.

G5 – The necropolis in Assiut

Like Gebelein, Assiut is also a former provincial center, which gives important evidence of burials dating between the end of the Old Kingdom and the Middle Kingdom and belonging to ordinary people, dignitaries and local governors. The Italian mission accomplished there seven excavations between 1906 and 1913.

H – Giovanni Marro and anthropology in Egypt
at the beginning of the Twentieth century

At the beginning of the twentieth century Giovanni Marro, psychiatrist, anthropologist and collaborator of Schiaparelli, developed an anthropological research program in Egypt. To this end, he embarks on a systematic collection of mummies and complete skeletons, predynastic and dynastic, that will form the nucleus of the collections of the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, which he founded in 1926.

I – From the dig to the museum

In the years of the “Missione Archeologica Italiana” activities in Egypt about 30,000 objects arrive in Turin, which force Schiaparelli to rethink the structure of the museum and preparation to make room for new material.



In addition to the many artifacts found during the mission, we can reconstruct the story through meticulous documentation kept by Schiaparelli, Marro and the others in the form of diaries, letters and other writings.

  • On discovering Kha and Merit's tomb

    "The tomb of Kha, where his sister [wife] Mirit was also buried , was full of all kinds of funeral furnishings in a state of perfect preservation. By means of mutual concessions, the Directorate of Antiquities of Egypt allowed us to export the most part "- from the report of the work for the Ministry of October 9, 1906

  • The journey

    "I am locked in a small room with three other people: I wanted to go in the first class to be more comfortable, but also those cabins are crammed [...]. In the second-class cabins are largely occupied by a theater company that is going to perform in Alexandria. The first class is full of touristes who go there to spend the winter. They told me there are more than 300 travelers. "- From a letter by Francesco Ballerini to his wife Lucia, December 17th, 1902

  • Transportation of the exhibits to the Nile for their transfer to Luxor

    "Mr. Carter, Inspector of Antiquities in Upper Egypt, in charge of dividing between the Cairo Museum and the Museum of Turin the collected material, was very generous with us, even leaving the lid and the fragments of the [Khaemwaset] sarcophagus"
  • The tomb of prince Khamuas

    "Finally today we have finished cleaning the tomb of the prince Khamuas who is really the most beautiful prince's tomb that we've discovered in recent years." - Francesco Ballerini, Valley of the Queens, February 18th, 190

  • A necropolis in the North

    In agreement with Bolos, given the urgency, we have started digging in this poor northern necropolis: we will have a taste of intact places and will recover to light the painted tomb. My future photographs will illustrate each step ...” - Virginio Rosa, Gebelein, letter to Schiaparelli, January 14th, 1911
  • Kha's tomb

    The excavators are faced with a considerable layer of rubble that are not tampered with, but consist solely of white limestone splinters [...] The work is resumed promptly, under his direct supervision [= Schiaparelli]. Cheerfulness is returned!”. Roman chronicles of A.N.S.M.I. from 1906, right before discovering Kha's tomb.
  • The camp

    Around the little house there are five tents of our expedition, quite large tents, comfortable and sturdy: those are of our officers” F. Ballerini, Valley of the Queens, February 6th, 1903
  • The tomb of Hikab the dignitary

    “We brought to light [..] a large staircase that brought us to a big tomb of the sixth dynasty that had never been seen before; the tomb of Hikab the dignitary [Pepinacht said Heqaib] decorated with bas-reliefs, which are without doubt the most notable of the Aswan tombs of that period” - E. Schiaparelli, July 19th 1914 report
  • The tomb of Nefertari

    All the walls were covered with paintings and inscriptions in large and beautiful style of the first part of the reign of Ramesses II, in small part fallen to the effect of water penetrated into the grave, but in the majority preserved and truly wonderful...” - from a report sent from Schiaparelli to King Vittorio Emanuele III
  • The camp - II

    "This huge cave is completely open at the front and on either side of the opening on a small hill, like sentinels, are the two tents of the Director and mine, one on one side and the other on the other side. The other tents are high inside the cave. I will take the photograph." - F. Ballerini, Qau el-Kebir, March 17th, 1905

Scuola Holden for Missione Egitto 1903 – 1920


To make the journey even more exciting, the Museum has chosen Scuola Holden as a partner to develop a narrative path: the voice of Ernesto Schiaparelli will drive visitors accompanying them on a journey through time.


Opening hours:


Monday: Dalle 09.00 alle 14.00
Tuesday – Sunday: dalle 09.00 alle 18.30



(Museum + Exhibition Single Ticket)

€ 15,00


€ 11,00


(6 to 14 years old)

€ 1,00


Children up to 5 years old
Severely disabled + Carers
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