Museo Paleolitico di Isernia

Top choice in Molise

Built around the adjacent 730,000-year-old archaeological site of La Pineta, this intriguing museum stands next to a pavilion that protects the site of the original find. The modern open-plan building focuses mainly on the story of human development from prehistoric times, using large picture boards, mock-up dwellings and detailed captions (mostly in Italian). The site itself with its piles of elephant bones, remains of ancient lions, fossils, and stone tools left by our ancestor, Homo erectus, is reproduced on the museum floor.

Uncovered by road workers in 1978, La Pineta is basically a huge abattoir in which butchered kills were hidden from predators in the mud. Excavations are ongoing, and in 2014 archaeologists found the tooth of a young child dated to around 586,000 years ago.

The museum is poorly signposted but only a 1.5km walk from Isernia train station. It's rarely busy, apart from the odd school party. There are no refreshments on site.

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