Archaeology Collection

Coffin footboard, Egyptian, Archaeology Collection

The Archaeology Collection comprises over 2,000 examples of Greek, Mycenean, Roman and Egyptian pottery, funerary, domestic and religious objects. Professor John Hopkinson, an enthusiastic lecturer in Greek, proposed setting up an archaeology museum in a letter to the Faculty of Arts Committee in 1901. He wanted to purchase antiquities which would inspire his students and excite their historical imagination. His request was approved, he purchased several Greek vases on a trip to Rhodes in 1902, and thus the nucleus of the collection was formed. 

The collection has steadily grown since its inception, and reflects the various cultures and themes taught in the department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, where much of the collection is displayed in a dedicated museum. The collection is used actively in teaching and continues Professor Hopkinson’s vision for the collection, giving students the opportunity to learn from objects of the ancient world through seminars and volunteering opportunities. 

Significant objects include an Egyptian sarcophagus lid and an impressive replica of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, providing an excellent focus point for the discussion of Neo-Assyrian history, art and culture. Loans from the Birmingham Museums Trust supplement the existing collection and introduce students to a broad range of material culture.