The Museo Archeologico is housed in the former Olivetan convent, founded in 1323, that was built directly over the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre: hence, the curios curved design.
Damages by bombs during the Second World War, in its modern re-systemisation it offers a picture of ancient history of the city and the territory.
The Crater of Euphronios, an Attic vase of the end of the 6th c. BC, is remarkable: it testified to the wealth and high cultural level reached during that age by the wealthy classes of the Arezzo area, who were in a position to appreciate and acquire a work realised by one of the greatest pottery decorators of the age. The crater is a capacious vase with a wide mouth, made for mixing wine and water in accordance with the Greek usage of the symposium: the presence of such a precious vase and one for such a specific use indicates that the practice of the symposium was present in the high society of the area, as an occasion of encounter and also as a stutus symbol.
Of great artistic quality and also linked to the symposium is the Attic amphora of the school of the Painter of Dinos from Casalta (end of the 5th c. BC). Together with the somewath older Attic stamnos of the Painter of Danae from Alberoro, it testifies to the continuing wealth of the land-owner classes of the fertile Valdichiana. It is very probable that these and other Attic products were imported through the Greco-Etruscan port of Spina, on the Po delta, and from there arrived overland in Arezzo across the Apennine passes.
The large disk inscribed in stone that can be seen in the following rooms constitutes an additional indication of the vitality of these activities: it comes from the Estruscan sanctuary of Pieve a Socana, in the Casentino, is datable to the 5th c. BC, and bears an Etruscan inscription that says it was offered by an exponent of a gens (family) the founder of which had himself called ”the Greek”.
Of great interest is the collection of Aretine ceramics, the so-called ”coralline”: a typical product of the city which, between the 1th century BC and 1th century AD, flooded the market of the entire Roman empire with clay vases that imitaded those made of metal (silver) in shape, relief decoration, polish and perhaps even sound.
In the display cabinets can be seen the punches and dies utilised for realising the mass-production of these items: industrial products, but of extraordinary refinement.
The fragments of Arezzo ceramics decorated in relief were sougth after by artists already in the Middle Ages, and Donatello probably had the idea of his stiacciato relief from them.
The Toga-clad Fifure (1th c. BC) also speaks of the Roman city. It decorated a monumental tomb recently discovered along Via Vittorio Veneto.
Lastly, a Chrysographic Male Portrait deserves careful examination: this is a miniature realised on very thin gold and silver foil, and sealed between two pieces of glass (third quarter of the 3nd c. AD).