The Archaeological Museum of Arta was established in 1973 as the Archaeological collection of Arta, and used to be housed in the Trapeza (dining room) of the 13th-century Paregoritissa Church. The bulk of the findings during excavations in Arta and the wider area in the last decades of the twentient century was moved to a brand new building with a view to both exhibiting and preserving them.
The exhibition includes three main sections: the public life, the cemeteries, and the private life of Ambraciotes, whilst at the start and end of the exhibition there are individual smaller sections covering the birth and fall of Ambracia, respectively. For the development of the permanent exhibition of the museum, the space provided for this purpose by the architectural building study, as well as part of the corridor to the left of the entrance, and the atrium space are used. In the main exhibition area there is a small space of temporary exhibitions, which was not part of the original plans of the museum.
The bulk of the collection from the city of Arta come from excavations of the two cemeteries housed outside the walls of the ancient city of Ambracia (east and southwest), from public buildings such as the small and large Greek Theatre, the Temple of Apollo and the Prytaneion, houses and other building ruins, as well as ceramic and other workshops, discovered by archaeological research.
The exhibition spans a wide time period, from the Paleolithic up to the Roman period. The objects of the Prehistoric Age are extremely limited, as are those of the geometric period that follows. There are several findings of the Archaic period, including vases, imitations of Corinthian vases mainly of the 6th century BC. The classical period is represented by a larger number of objects, mainly pottery, red -figured and black-glazed vases, both domestic and listed from other regions such as Attica, statuettes, bronze vases and coins.
The majority of exhibits belongs to the Hellenistic era, an era that coincides with the highest economic and civil growth in the heyday of Ambracia, at which time the city was the capital of Epirus. It includes a variety of objects, such as clay vases, of all types that also occur in the rest of the Hellenistic world,statuettes , coins, bronze vases, weapons, gold, silver and bronze jewellry as well as other bronze, iron, lead, bone or glass small items. It also includes stone objects such as tombstones, votive pedestals, architectural members, and a few plastics.
The aim of the Ephorate is to transform the Museum into a multipurpose cultural center with a decisive role in the intellectual, social, cultural and economic development of the city of Arta and of the wider region.