Archaeology collection

The archaeology collection has been part of the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology since 1902. 

You can find out more about the history of the collection here.

The collection is central to the Department and provides invaluable opportunities for students to work with, handle, and learn from ancient artefacts.

Volunteer placements

Researchers reviewing objects

The Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, in partnership with the University’s Research and Cultural Collections provide placements for undergraduate and postgraduate students to work with the collection and gain invaluable collections management experience. Applications are open for new volunteers at the beginning of each academic year. Below is a statement from a past volunteer on their experience.

“Volunteering with the Archaeology Collection has been immensely useful in developing skills in a museum environment. Working directly with objects with the support of enthusiastic staff has also enhanced my understanding of how important artefacts are in how we study the ancient world. My involvement in the redisplay of the museum has been an especially rewarding process which has expanded my enjoyment in curating. I recommend this opportunity to anyone who is looking for experience in museums and collections.” (Statement from an undergraduate volunteer 2018/2019). 


Two black bowls

Objects in Focus

To increase the awareness of the Archaeology Collection we are hosting a series of informal talks for students and staff of UoB, as well as the wider public. All talks are led by researchers from CAHA who have specialist knowledge of the objects under discussion. In order to plan our room locations please register for the talks here. Everyone is welcome, and we look forward to seeing you there.


Stories from objects

Stories from Objects: the teaching collection of the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology

In each episode we explore the teaching collections at CAHA and select objects to discuss with specialists and students from the department. Each of the objects in our collections has a story to tell, and we intend to introduce these objects and stories to a wider audience. An episode will be released at the end of each month, starting with Episode 1 on the 31 October 2019.

Episode 1 - What can we learn from teaching collections?

In this episode we go behind the scenes of the teaching collections in CAHA, and discuss curating these collections, the role of the RCC in collections care, where these collections come from, and their use in the Department.

Episode 2 - What can we learn from animal bones?

In this episode we are joined by Dr David Smith who introduces us to the Environmental Archaeology Collection. He discusses what animal bones can tell us about the ancient world; hint, it’s a lot!

Episode 3 - What can we learn from Egyptian Antiquities?

Jen Turner from the Eton Myers Collection introduces us to this wonderful hidden treasure in the Selly Oak Campus. She chooses some of her favourite objects, and explains the role of winged goddesses in protecting the dead in ancient Egypt.

Episode 4 - What can we learn from Greek pottery?

Dr Maeve McHugh brings us on a tour of Archaic and Classical Greek pottery on display in the Archaeology Collection, and discusses what they can tell us about the ancient societies that made them.

Episode 5 - What can we learn from Roman coins?

In this episode, Dr Hannah Cornwell discusses the importance of Roman coins in relaying messages of power for Roman Emperors. She introduces us to some coins from the period of Augustus and Hadrian, plus a coin with an empress on it!

Episode 6 - What can we learn from Byzantine pilgrim flasks?

In our last episode, Dr Daniel Reynolds introduces us to the wonderful world of Late Antiquity, and discusses the fascinating practices of pilgrimage across the Mediterranean.