On the Forum square is the low, modern building of the Archaeological Museum, featuring artefacts from Zadar's development from Prehistoric times through to the first Croatian settlements. For a chronological tour, it makes sense to go directly to the prehistoric exhibition on the second floor, which covers decorative ceramics, weaponry and items the seafaring Liburnians brought from Greece and Italy. The first floor covers the Classical period, from the Romanised Liburnians (1st century BC) to the widescale Roman settlement (6th century AD). Artefacts include weaponry, items from local necropoli and sculpture, mosiacs and art created in far-flung parts of the Roman Empire. The collection of 1st-3rd century glassware is wonderful. Also well worth seeing is a reconstruction showing the Forum area in Roman times. In a smaller room are exhibits from the development of Christianity in North Dalmatia in the late Classical and early Byzantine period, and rare artefacts from the invasion of the Goths. The ground floor (early Middle Ages, 8th to 11th centuries) contains exhibits from early Croatian graves near Nin, and stone furniture from churches which did not survive the ages.
Archaeological Museum in Zadar displays ancient Rome in a new contemporary way by using thematic sections to describe life in ancient Zadar (Lader) and areas of the southern part of Liburni (Northern Dalmatia). As well, statues of Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius and one of Tiberius's successors, along with numerous inscriptions, sculptures and portraits that are included at this permanent exhibition.