A unique opportunity to admire about 250 original and very ancient pieces coming from the South American culture before the arrival of the European conquerors. The ceramic works come from different areas (Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Dominican republic) and allow people to have a complete vision of a great variety of cultures, a great selection of shapes and techniques. The main focus is on Mesoamerica and Peru, both for the quality of the works and fot their importance inside the general ancient American culture. Sixty-one archaeological cultures are represented and under the term “pre-Columbian” even is they are different one from the other.

The works housed in this department have been acquired through important donations and a policy of pointed acquisitions.

Beside the ceramics, some rare textile items are exhibited in special chest of drawers; they follow the historic development of the textile techniques, show examples of particular dresses and decorations for the houses. They have been donated by Graziella Laffi Petracchi in 1997.