This museum houses a number of unique artifacts, such as;
“LYON TABLET” - an ancient bronze slab (discovered in 1528 in a vineyard on the Croix-Rousse Hill) that bears Emperor Claudius’ speech before the Roman Senate in 48 AD . On this tablet was a proposal to allow landed citizens from Gaul to enter the Senatorial Class once they had reached a specified level of wealth.
“THE CIRCUS GAMES MOSAIC” - a second century floor mosaic depicting a chariot race. Discovered in 1806 by workers digging a reservoir, it was acquired by the city government in 1813. The mosaic depicts eight chariots competing around a track barrier filled with water.
“THE COLIGNY CALENDAR - also dating from the second century, depicts a five-year cycle of the moon and sun phases written in the Gaulish language. It is considered to be the finest example of an ancient pre-Christian system of timekeeping.
“MOSAIC OF BACCHUS - this mosaic is thought to date from the end of the second century to the beginning of the third century and was part of a dining room decoration in ancient Lugdunum (Lyon). It depicts the Roman god of wine and the theater.
“TAUROBOLIC ALTAR” - during 1704, this altar, which refers to the practice of sacrificing a bull, was discovered in a vineyard on the Fourviere Hill.. It dates to circa 160 and is thought to be connected to those who worshiped “The Great Mother of the Gods.”
“SVASTIKA MOSAIC” - this floor mosaic depicts ancient religious iconography (from Sanskrit meaning “ ...conducive to well being”) thought to symbolize divinity and spirituality. Sanskrit is one of the oldest known languages in the world - forming the base for many European languages - and is still one of India’s official languages.
Opened in 1975, the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization is considered to house one of the finest archeological collections in all of France. Because of its close proximity to the Basilica of Notre-Dame (just a block or two away) and next to the Roman Amphitheater and Odeon, visitors can easily spend two-to-three days exploring the Fourviere Hill location of ancient Lugdunum (aka Lyon).