Aboa Vetus (Old Turku) is the side of the museum focusing on archaeology and history. The ruins excavated in the Convent Quarter originate from the Middle Ages. In the midst of these ruins, museum visitors progress through the permanent exhibition, which focuses on the 15th century. The artefacts on display originate from the excavations carried out in the town quarter where the museum actually sits.
The east side of the centre of Turku is the town's oldest district, the quarters of which are the Cathedral Quarter and the Convent Quarter. In the Middle Ages, the area was a bustling centre of administrative, commercial and ecclesiastical life. The town's residential areas were also concentrated on the east bank of the river. This medieval district is one of the country's most historically significant areas, the stratification of which is fascinating and uniquely rich.
The Aboa Vetus Ars Nova Museum and the foundation that maintains it have been active in researching the Convent Quarter and the whole Rettig plot of land since the 1990s. In Aboa Vetus, museum visitors have the opportunity to walk through the Middle Ages and also to see how research is being carried out.
The aim of the museum is to continue excavations in the area of the museum every year. Through the discoveries made, it is possible to gain new information about life in this very area hundreds of years ago. At the moment, archaeological excavations focus on the other side of the museum plot, outside the actual museum space, where new ruins dating to the Middle ages have been discovered.