Reopening of the late Iron Age rooms
On 8 March 2012, the Musée d'Archéologie Nationale celebrated a double anniversary: it was exactly 150 years since the Museum had been established, and the permanent exhibition rooms devoted to the late Iron Age (450 BC up to the Roman Conquest) in Celtic Gaul, were reopened to the public following renovation.
Gaul has always been at the heart of the Museum's collections: initially it was the "Musée Gallo-Romain" (Gallo-Roman Museum) founded by Napoleon III in 1862 to house artefacts from the excavations in Alésia and other major sites; only later was it named the "Musée des Antiquités Nationales" (Museum of National Antiquities), incorporating objects from other periods and collections.
The Gallic rooms, redesigned in the 1960s at the initiative of André Malraux, have been renovated in order to modernize the displays: spectacular examples of finery discovered in chariot burials in the Aisne and Marne departments, various types of vessel, stunning fragments of chariots where faces seem to emerge from the images, multicoloured glassware revealing the excellent quality of workmanship, coins revealing the adoption of Mediterranean models and series of weapons, tell us about these powerful tribes and of the Gauls' everyday life in all its diversity.
The renovation has also tried to reveal those particular aspects of Gallic civilisation highlighted by recent archaeological discoveries: Gallic cults and sanctuaries, in particular the excavation of the ritual site of Gournay-sur-Aronde and the statue of Beaupréau, the organization of the Gallic society, with aristocrats, warriors, peasants and artisans, and finally Alésia, from the initial excavations by Napoleon III in Burgundy, to the most recent discoveries. Objects recently acquired and collections kept in museum vaults up to now, are currently also on display.
We invite visitors to rediscover these exceptional collections through our images.