Antiquarium e Parco Archeologico di Canne della Battaglia
The site of Cannae (now named Canne della Battaglia) – famed for the epic battle in 216 BC between the Romans and Carthaginians – stands on a hill in the lower Ofanto valley. The Antiquarium, beneath the fortified citadel, and the Archaeological Park with the remains of the ancient Daunian settlement, plus Roman, early Christian and medieval remains, offer visitors a rich and fascinating visit.
Frequented since the Neolithic Age (5th millennium BC), in the middle of the Bronze Age clusters of huts were built on terraces that controlled the Ofanto river. The town of Dauno was founded in the 6th century BC on the hills, and was inhabited until the 3rd century BC.
The main hill, the “Mount of Cannae”, was occupied throughout the late antique and medieval period: here, after the destruction of Canosa in 872, the bishop’s seat was established, entrusted in 1100 to S. Ruggero, whose remains were preserved in the Basilica.
In 1083 it was conquered and partially destroyed by Robert Guiscard. In 1303 Charles II of Anjou annexed the territory of Cannae to that of Barletta. At the end of the Middle Ages, the site was gradually abandoned.
The Antiquarium houses the museum exhibition, which is mounted on a single floor, along with various offices. Its large windows establish a connection between the archaeological artefacts and the uncontaminated natural scenery.
The small building was built in 1958 to house finds from the excavations conducted in the area, using plaster models and panels to illustrate Hannibal’s tactical manoeuvres and the deployment of the armies, during the battle of 216 BC.
In 1999 the display was renewed respecting modern educational needs, presenting the history of the population in the area, from the Neolithic period to the organisation of indigenous settlements, to the Middle Ages.
The current display was inaugurated in 2017, enriched by the multimedia room and spaces for educational events.
With this new exhibition, inaugurated on 2 August 2017, the Antiquarium documents the history of Cannae from Prehistory to the Middle Ages.
The visitor’s itinerary follows a chronological and thematic order, illustrating with objects and a wide range of texts the historical evolution of the site and its interaction with the surrounding Ofanto area. The educational features, lively graphics and rich multimedia elements offer a stimulating visit.
Particular emphasis is focused on the historical battle of the Second Punic War in 216 BC. The carefully documented story of the battle is told in a video reconstruction, visible in 3D, in the multimedia room, and also via historical sources in interactive multimedia units, featuring tactical manoeuvres and protagonists.
The visit to the Archaeological Park offers two itineraries: the first to the main hill, site of the Roman Arx mentioned in the Latin sources, and the medieval castle, basilica and settlement. The second itinerary leads to the early Christian basilica, to the area of the Daunian dwellings with its simple “oven” tombs, and then to the furnace and the medieval burial ground.
This terracotta statuette represents the mother goddess, symbol of fertility and protector of crops (5th millennium BC); it was found near the citadel
Askòs pottery vessel with applied decorative female faces. A typical product of Canosa, the important centre for which Cannae acted as a trade outpost on the Ofanto river (late 3rd-2nd century BC)
Polychrome glazed ceramic vase-base in bright colours; the bird with the branch in its beak is a decorative element typical of Saracen artisans (13th century).
Strada Provinciale n. 142 Barletta-Canosa di Puglia
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities