February 15, 2019
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Mo. Pa

The Mo.Pa (Paleontological Exhibition of the Unità Faunistica Farneta), is a recently established museum showing the materials that were previously on display in the abbey Antiquarium. The museum currently hosts part of the huge collection of paleontological finds collected over years of study and research by Don Sante Felici, abbot of Farneta, until his death. Starting from the 1960s, during the works carried out to construct the A1 Motorway called Autostrada del Sole and the high-speed railway, several sand quarries were dug in Farneta; Don Sante patiently retrieved many fossils of the Lower Pleistocene, therefore dating back to about one million years ago, which are now preserved for the most part in the Natural History Museum of Florence.

In the new set up of the museum, moved in 2010 from the abbey to the rooms formerly occupied by a primary school, fossils of terrestrial vertebrates and freshwater mollusks are on display. Here you can admire fossils of Mammuthus meridionalis vestinus (a big elephant whose height to withers was usually over 3.5 meters), hippopotamus, rhino, deer, hyena and equine remains: these big mammals used to live in the Valdichiana valley in the Quaternary, when it was characterised by a hot arid climate and a savannah environment mixed with brushes.

 

 

This exhibition is enriched with many educational panels with the description of the finds on display. Those wishing to visit it shall contact the association Amici del Museo fatto in casa di Don Sante Felici.

The Mo.Pa is associated with the Paleontological Route, a loop path winding through the countryside from the museum back to the abbey. Information panels and road signs lead tourists through the places where the fossils were found, bringing them back in time to feel a spirit of adventure and discovery.

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