The Civic Archaeological Museum of Sarteano is located inside Palazzo Gabrielli, a 16th-century building with an original structure dating back to the Middle Ages. Inaugurated in 1997, the museum collects artifacts from the many Etruscan necropolises in the area, the result of excavations carried out since the 19th century.
The visit unfolds in a topographical and chronological itinerary, telling the story of the human occupation of Sarteano through archaeological evidence covering a time span between the 9th and 1st centuries B.C.
The first room displays finds from the Sferracavalli pit tombs and the Poggio Rotondo tombs, such as the splendid canopic urns (cineraries in human form). Prominent among them is one from the 7th century B.C. in the shape of a woman holding an axe, a symbol of power in aristocratic society of the period. On display in the third room is the elegant cippus of "pietra fetida" (a type of limestone rock) from Sant'Angelo depicting scenes from an Etruscan burial ceremony.
The lower floor of the museum is entirely dedicated to the great discoveries of the Necropolis of the Pianacce: excavations, which began in 2000, led to the discovery of twenty tombs, including the one known as the Infernal Quadriga. This is an extraordinary testimony of the 4th century B.C., with a pictorial cycle among the most significant in Etruscan art depicting scenes related to the imagery of the otherworld.
Also on display are some sculptures, such as the cinerary group with the deceased and the demon Vanth, the male cinerary statue, and the ossuary memorial stones with fine relief decorations, along with Attic ceramics and luxury objects. These objects show the wealth of aristocratic families in the area between the 6th and 2nd centuries B.C.