Life in the Seville area goes back to prehistoric times. This museum covers from very early pre-historic times, to the Tartessians and Tartudians, to the Romans; plus a tiny bit of the Visigoths and the Arabs. The strength of the museum is that its holdings are all from the immediate region. Hispalis (Roman Seville) was a major Atlantic deep-water shipping port through which major shipments of silver, lead, garum (a salted fish sauce), wine, and olive oil was shipped to Rome. 10 km away was Itálica, the first Roman city built from scratch outside of italy and Sicily. Although never having a population exceeding 8000 it was home to three Roman Emperors (Trajan, Hadrian, and Theodosis I) and has the 4th largest amphitheater in the entire Roman world seating 25,000. it has been extensively excavated and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Most of the best statues, mosaics, and the like from Itálica are in the Seville Archaeological museum. But there are major items from other surrounding area Roman sites. The pre-Roman Iberian holdings are exceptional, especially large lion sculptures. A jewel of the collection are the pre-Roman Carambola gold works and others of the period that are exceptional and extremely valuable (most of the time replicas are on display, the originals locked in a bank vault, but on occasion have been displayed, including recently).
The displays are extremely effective (I especially like how they have displayed currency tying coins to a timeline) but also the display of monumental sculptures is exceptional, too.
What makes this museum so special is that it has a specific regional focus for which it has exceptional holdings with extremely effective displays.
The facility is a monumental building made for the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition.
Living in Seville, but having frequent American guests, this is a top priority place to take them.
And for 1.50€ entrance for non-residents and non-EU citizens, it is an absolute bargain.
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