The Geology section includes rich collections of minerals, rocks and fossils.
The many minerals on show come from various countries and offer a panorama of global geodiversity. The rock collections are mainly local (Siena Province, Mt. Amiata and mines in southern Tuscany). Striking specimens include an amethyst geode more than half a metre in diameter.
The fossils are mostly from southern Tuscany and cover a time interval from the Carboniferous period (about 300 million years ago) to the Holocene epoch (12,000 years ago to present). Most of the specimens come from the Pliocene basin of Siena, a stretch of sea that covered this area 5-2.5 million years ago. Non Tuscan specimens include the fur of a juvenile Siberian mammoth and three teeth of a megalodon, a giant shark now extinct.
The collection consists of 60 samples of brightly coloured ochres, ranging from yellow to brown, through red, orange and green, in the past used as natural high quality pigments.. Read more
THE “MARBLES” OF SIENA CATHEDRAL
The 23 specimens on show represent all the types of ornamental stone (commercially known as “marble”) used to build Siena Cathedral (12-14th century). Read more
MARINE INVERTEBRATE FOSSILS
This collection offers a panorama of the diversity of invertebrates that lived in the Pliocene basin of Siena 5-2.5 million years ago. Read more
MARINE VERTEBRATE FOSSILS
The sea that covered the Siena area millions of years ago produced sediments rich in vertebrate fossils.. Read more
LAND MAMMAL FOSSILS
The many remains of land mammals mostly date to the Pliocene (5,3-2.6 million years ago) and Pleistocene (2.6 million-12,000 years ago) and demonstrate that climate was different from today. Read more
AMBROGIO SOLDANI’S MICROFOSSILS
The room dedicated to the abbot Ambrogio Soldani (1736-1808), a pioneer of micropaleontology and marine biology, displays different material linked to his scientific activity. Read more
FOSSILS FROM LIGNITE MINES
Brown coal deposits in the Maremma area of Tuscany have yielded many fossils of reptiles and mammals dating to about 8 million years ago. Read more
GENERAL MINERAL COLLECTION
The collection includes 1206 samples from Italy and elsewhere, ordered according to chemical composition and crystal system. Read more
The mineral water collection consists of 26 bottles of water from thermal springs in Siena Province. Read more