The birth of the public collection of archaeological finds from Taranto is linked to the turbulent events that characterized archeology in the last decades of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the following century, in which the local antiques market caused the dispersion of precious objects flowing into Italian museums and foreigners. The National Archaeological Museum of Taranto , established in 1887, is located in the Convent of S. Pasquale, or of the Alcantarini friars, built shortly after the mid-eighteenth century. The building was enlarged and rearranged in various phases, starting from 1903, the era of the reconstruction of the facades based on a project by Guglielmo Canterini, while the northern wing was designed by Carlo Ceschi and built between 1935 and 1941.
The itinerary starts from the second floor which shows the most ancient phases of the history of the settlement in Puglia (Paleolithic and Neolithic) to reach the foundation of the Greek colony and the classical and Hellenistic city . The museum's exhibition itinerary, which takes into account the characteristics of the materials in the museum collection and the possibility of referring most of the finds to the excavation contexts, illustrates the history of Taranto and its territory from prehistory to the early Middle Ages, developing diachronically from second to first floor.
The MArTa offers a dense didactic and cultural programming, which every day provides for an intense valorisation, training and research activity aimed at involving the most diverse groups of users (children, adolescents, the general public, the public with disabilities).