Molise boasts a small collection of Egyptian artifacts. It is possible to admire it in the splendid museum of Baranello, a few kilometers from Campobasso.
Why are there Egyptian finds in Molise? We must consider the collection to which these objects belong, the historical period and the ways in which the collection was formed.
We are in Baranello, a village a few kilometers from Campobasso, in the mid-nineteenth century. It is precisely here that Giuseppe Barone was born, an illustrious architect and patron, who dedicated his life to creating a conspicuous and extraordinary collection, with finds from all over the world, even exotic and unusual, acquired from the antique market and during his travels.
In 1897 Giuseppe Barone decided to donate his extraordinary collection to the village of Baranello, setting up a small museum with more than 2000 exhibits, a ‘cabinet of wonders’, according to the taste of the time.
Therefore, it is not surprising to see also Egyptian finds in his collection. They probably derive from the antiquarian market of the second half of the nineteenth century.
There are funerary objects, cult objects and amulets, referable to a late period, between the 7th and 4th century BC.
The most interesting object is a canopic jar in alabaster (in the photo). It represents Amset, one of the four sons of the god Horus, with the typical headdress (nemes).
The canopic jars were vessels destined to receive and preserve the bowels of the deceased. They were placed generally next to the sarcophagus.
To know more: Corona, M 2012, ‘Gli aegyptiaca’, ArcheoMolise, 12, pp. 48-55.