Severed heads. Symbols of power

1 April to 1 September 2019



Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya

Carme Rovira y Gabriel de Prado

Horario de visita
Martes a sábado: 9:30 – 20:00
Domingos y festivos: 9:30 – 15:00

Visitas guiadas (Aforo: 20 plazas)

 Miércoles y viernes, 18:00
(Excepto días festivos)
Adquiera su entrada desde una hora antes de la actividad.

The National Archaeology Museum is hosting an exhibition dedicated to trophy heads and their meaning from ancient times to the modern day.

This touring production from the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia presents archaeological and ethnographic items from various museums, as well as artistic iconography and audiovisual resources which illustrate the occurrence of this phenomenon around the world, and which allow visitors to discover its origins and broad cultural dimensions.

The oldest remains on display date back to the Iron Age. In those times the Iberians in the most northern part of the country were some of the peoples who prepared and publically displayed the severed heads of their defeated enemies as trophies, sometimes alongside seized weapons. This ritual custom and its staging reaffirmed leaders’ power.

The Iberian collections from the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia are the only examples of their kind and are therefore given pride of place in this exhibition. The so-called “nailed heads” from the Puig Castellar settlement are displayed, some for the first time, together with those recently discovered in the Iberian town of Ullastret. Modern analytical and forensic techniques have been used to study them, culminating in the first scientific reconstruction of the face of an Iberian, a young warrior from the third century BCE.

Severed heads. Symbols of power addresses a universal concept which has regained contemporary relevance in a striking manner and which blurs the boundaries between past and present.

This touring exhibition includes pieces from the settlements of Ullastret, Barcelona and Girona from the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, and others from the National Museum of Anthropology and the Museum of the Americas in Madrid, the Museum of Ethnology and World Cultures in Barcelona, the Granollers Museum, the Numantine Museum of Soria, the Ca n’Oliver Museum in Cerdanyola del Vallès, as well as the Prehistory Museum of Valencia, the National Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of America in Madrid and the National Archaeological Museum itself.

Cráneo de Puig de Castellar, Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya


Cráneo de Puig de Castellar, MAC


Denario romano republicano

Denario del magistrado M. Sergio Silo. Roma, 116 ó 115 a.C., MAN

Galería de imágenes

Cerámica moche Cráneo con clavo Báculo con prótomos Secuencia reconstrucción Fíbula de jinete

Entrevistas a la comisaria de la exposición Carme Rovira 


Programa Aquí en la Onda, de Onda Cero 23/04/2019

Programa Esto me suena. Las tardes del ciudadano García, RNE. 03/04/2019

Programa El café de la lluvia 04/04/2019