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Collection Summary

Collection Title
Archaeology Collection
The archaeology collections are of world-wide scope, with particularly good representation in the following areas: ancient Egypt and Near East, c.5000-30 B.C.; Ancient mediterranean world, c.7000 B.C. to A.D. 400; Pre-Columbian South and Central America, c.1000 B.C. to A.D.1500; European prehistory, c.400,000 B.C. to A.D. 50; British archaeology, c.400,000 B.C. to A.D.1558.

The collections include the cuneiform tablets and Near Eastern seals from the Wellcome Foundation collection, transferred in 1982.
Excavated material from Cyprus is a particular strength. Birmingham has a long-standing relationship with excavations in Cyprus. The bulk of the material is from the Early Bronze Age cemetery at Vounous, and from the Late Bronze Age tombs at Kouklia Evreti The Pre-Columbian collections are another Birmingham strength. Most Mexican civilisations are represented, and there is a fine assemblage of Peruvian pottery from the Inca Empire and its predecessors the Nasca, Moche and Chimu peoples. The Neolithic collections of material excavated from Vinca (Yugoslavia, 8000-2000BC) are archaeologically significant, and are unique in Britain as no other museum possesses material from this important type site. It was presented by Sir Charles Hyde in 1954. The collection of Egyptian and Near-Eastern material includes cuneiform tablets and seals transferred from the Welcome Collection in 1982 British archaeology
Date range of collection
01/01/1066 -
Accumulation Dates
Suggested Audience
Not Specific
Associated People or Organisations
Associated Times

Location Details

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
Chamberlain Square Birmingham West Midlands B3 3DH United Kingdom
Open Map
0121 303 2834
0121 303 1394 
Visiting Information
Free Admission (Entrance fee for some exhibitions), lift available. Monday-Thursday 10.00am - 5.00pm Friday 10.30am - 5.00pm Sat 10.00am - 5.00pm Sunday 12.30pm - 5.00pm
Building Information
The original building by Yeoville Thomason is purpose built and dates from 1885. New galleries, linked by bridge to the original structure, were added over the years following the First World War. The Gas Hall exhibition gallery, converted from the old Municipal Gas Company's payments hall in the same building, was added in 1993. The Water Hall gallery for modern art, former Council offices, was added in 2001.
Collections Overview
Birmingham is the largest non-national museum service in England and Wales, and the scale and significance of its collections reflect this fact. They cover most aspects of human and natural history, and most of the collections have been Designated. The collections recorded here include those from the former Museum of Science and Industry. This museum is now closed. Some of the principal exhibits are now shown at the Thinktank museum and science centre which opened in 2002, but all the collections are still owned by Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery.
Display Overview
The collections are displayed in extensive purpose-built surroundings, usually by subject. Over the last twenty years there has been a near-continuous programme of display renewal and replacement, though some still await attention. Some Science and Industry collections are shown at Thinktank.
Star Objects
The Pre-Raphaelite collection, including ‘The Last of England’ by Ford Madox Brown. Canaletto's views of Warwick Castle. ‘The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints’, painted in the new oil technique by Bellini in Venice in 1505. An elaborately bandaged Egyptian mummy from the third century. The 2.3-metre Sultanganj Buddha, which has been on display in Birmingham Museum since 1867. The Wonderwall - a selection of the museum’s most popular objects including a 1940s bomb and a 1970s Space Hopper. The Pinto Collection of over 7000 wooden objects. Ceramics by Wedgwood, the Worcester porcelain factory, William De Morgan, the Martin Brothers and the Ruskin Pottery.
For details of other collections held at the same location: See the location record

Additional Collection Information

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Management Information (Type)
Collection Owner(s)
Collection Creator(s)
Collection Custodians(s)
Associated Collection(s)

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