A boutique antiquities museum housing examples of the art and culture of the major ancient Mediterranean civilisations. It was established in 1955 by John Elliott, Professor of Classics, to create a teaching and research collection which was also accessible to the public.
From Egypt come the assorted amulets, scarabs and ushabti figures found in most ancient Egyptian tombs. A limestone false tomb door, through which the deceased’s spirit could pass, is a highlight.
Much of the Greek collection comprises pottery which traces stylistic developments in Greek art, from early static, geometric decoration to the fluid, elegant figures of the Classical era. Beautiful yet functional, they speak equally of mythical tales, religious reverence, and wild party nights.
Closed during Summer
Whether it’s a centurion’s sword, floor mosaics, jewellery and cosmetic items, or bronze surgical implements, the Roman artefacts give many insights into daily life in the Roman world. Once unearthed by archaeologists, they now await discovery by you.
The extensive range of Greek and Roman coins, often miniature works of art, reveal much about political realities and ambitions by their use as propaganda tools – proof that political spin and manipulation has a long history.