The birth of the public collection of Tarantine archaeological finds is linked to the turbulent events that characterized the archeology of 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 that flowed 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-18th century. The building was enlarged and rearranged in various phases, starting from 1903, the time 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 route starts from the second floor which shows the most ancient phases of the settlement history in Puglia (Paleolithic and Neolithic) to reach the foundation of the Greek colony and the classical and Hellenistic city. The exhibition itinerary of the Museum, 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 on the first floor.
The MArTa offers a dense educational and cultural program, which provides for an intense activity of enhancement, training and research every day aimed at involving the most diverse groups of users (children, adolescents, general public, public with disabilities).