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The Antiquities Collection

Introduction

The Museum’s antiquities collection encompasses the major cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world. While Greek and Roman art are the collection’s emphasis, ancient Egypt and the ancient Near East are also significantly represented. The collection contains about 8,000 objects; only about 5% of the collection is on display at any given time. The remainder is carefully stored, and objects are brought out periodically for study and temporary exhibitions.

Particular strengths in the Greek and Roman collections include approximately 3,000 coins, and a significant number of lamps, glass objects (mostly vessels), Greek and South Italian pottery, terracotta sculpture, and small bronzes. Roman imperial portraits and funerary monuments represent a growing collection of stone sculpture. Other ancient cultures such as those of Egypt, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Iran, Palestine, and Cyprus, are also represented substantially in the antiquities collection. Iranian artifacts are particularly strong in pottery and Luristan bronzes. A number of pottery vessels from the early Hacilar and Yortan cultures strengthen the Anatolian collection.

The Museum’s interest in the archaeology of Cyprus has led to the acquisition of a fine collection of Cypriot pottery. A painted linen mummy shroud, two plaster mummy masks, a Coptic tunic, a collection of Coptic textile fragments, and an exquisite agate bowl are exceptional examples from the Egyptian holdings. Finally, over 900 objects from the Palestinian region attest the Museum’s long-standing connections with the archaeology of that area. Illustrated here are collections of jewelry, weapons, and small bronzes that represent many of the ancient cultures mentioned above.

(Use the links on the right to see this online exhibition.)

Fifty Golden Years links:

Antiquities Collection
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

European & American Collections
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

Non-Western Collections
- Introduction
- Objects (opens new window)

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