Paleontological Museum

“Some of the most important geo-paleontological events of the last 25 million years are described in this extraordinary place.”

In this extraordinary place some of the most important geo-paleontological events of the last 25 million years, between the Miocene and Pliocene, are described with an overview of the main organisms, especially molluscs, that characterized the past environments.

The most significant findings – some of them unique in the world – are the fossil skeletal remains of Asti cetaceans, like whales and dolphins, dating back to Pliocene time (between 5.3 and 1.8 million years ago) when the entire Po Valley was occupied by sea.

At the end of the exhibition a fascinating aquarium reproduces the subtropical ecosystem of the Po Valley sea going back to 25 million years ago.

The Museum is housed in “Palazzo del Michelerio”, which originally was a working monastery in the middle of the Sixteenth century.

The Collection

The museum has an important paleontological collection composed, in addition to the exhibits, of over 14,000 fossil samples owned by the state and coming from Asti. These findings can be seen inside the museum collection chests upon specific request.

The collection is subdivided on the basis of places of origin and offers a complete picture of the paleontological heritage of Asti territory.

To these fossils we have to add many findings coming from excavation campaigns and specific recovery operations, such as skeletal remains of imposing marine mammals.

The complete collection of fossil cetaceans from the Asti area found in the last 55 years, one of the most important in Italy, has a great value.

Among the most relevant finds we can mention:

  • the whale from Valmontasca (Vigliano d’Asti) (a Balaenoptera acutorostrata cuvierii kind, called Viglianottera)
  • the Whale from S. Marzanotto d’Asti (called Tersilla)
  • the Whale from Chiusano d’Asti
  • the Dolphin from Settime (AT) (a Septidelphis morii kind)
  • the Dolphinid from Belangero (AT)

 

For more info, visit the web site: Parco Paleontologico Astigiano (https://www.astipaleontologico.it/ )

Pictures by Piero Damarco and Laura Nosenzo.