The Archaeological and Ethnological Museum of Córdoba is considered one of the most complete museums in Spain. In addition to the importance of many of its pieces, it is also necessary to mention the fact that this is a complete archaeological collection, in which all ages, from Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages, are very well represented. After a period in which the dominating factor was a certain tendency for specialisation of archaeological museums in a certain culture or specific period, the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba attempts to highlight, in particular, the continuous character of its collection. And there are very few musems to which this quality can be attributed.
The growth of the museum collections is continuous, thanks to the archaeological richness of the subsoil in Córdoba and the numerous works carried out in the city, the contributions of the towns in the province, and others from research projects. This growth is reflected in the exhibitions, presenting new pieces or rotating pieces which have already been exhibited in various halls or display cabinets. This dynamism gives the exhibition a lively character, distant from the image of strict stability which museums have at times.
The initial collection, essentially formed by the pieces which the Comisión Provincial de Monumentos (Province Committee for Monuments) contributed in 1868 in order to set up the Museum, has grown considerably. Thousands of new pieces have been donated to the museum or deposited there, with various origins: from individuals; from seizures of materials by the police authorities due to actions contrary to Spanish Historical Heritage Law; from chance findings of pieces; and, in particular, as a product of the archaeological interventions authorised by the Department of Culture and carried out in both the city&; and in the province. Therefore, the current conservation of archaeological heritage and the regulations regarding urgent archaeological interventions, linked parallely to the development of research, have contributed over the last few decades to the noteworthy advancement in the knowledge of our immediate surroundings, and to the considerable increase in the collections held in the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum, which currently has an inventory of more than 33,500 pieces, making the use of an external storeroom necessary.
It is possible that one or several pieces of interest may not be found in the actual museum when visiting. The high value of many of the pieces which form part of the permanent collection, even if decontextualised, often means that they are not exhibited for a temporary period of time, as they may form part of exhibitions organised by other national and foreign institutions. The fact that the museum is available to participate in the numerous international temporary exhibitions to which it lends pieces is another way to value and diffuse the rich archaeological heritage of the province. Nonetheless, when visiting the museum, even though some items may be missing from the exhibitions, the rest of the pieces exhibited can perfectly fulfil the expectations of any visitor. Likewise, in any event the Museum doors will always be open to offer every visitor a walk through the historical and cultural evolution of Córdoba.