Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Downing Street
Cambridge
Cambridgeshire
CB2 3DZ
England

Website

Museum website

www.maa.cam.ac.uk

E-mail

admin@maa.cam.ac.uk

Telephone

01223 333 516

Fax

01223 333 517

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
Your first sight in the Maudslay gallery
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Founded in 1884, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology holds world-class collections of art and artefacts from all over the world, representing cultures and histories over millennia.

In 1997 the Museum's entire collection was recognised as a Designated Collection of national importance and in 2013 the museum was shortlisted for the Art Fund's Museum of the Year Prize.

Venue Type:

Museum

Opening hours

Open Tuesday - Saturday 10.30am - 4.30pm and Sunday 12.00 - 4.30pm

Closed Bank Holiday Mondays

Admission charges

Free admission

The entire collection of this museum is a Designated Collection of national importance.

This museum was founded in 1884 on the basis of two important collections: the Cambridge Antiquarian Society collection relating to British archaeology; and anthropological artefacts from the South Seas acquired by, among others, the museum's first curator, Baron Anatole von Hügel. The collections now comprise approximately half a million archaeological items and over 150,000 ethnographic objects. Most have been acquired through Cambridge-based research and are exceptionally well documented.

The strengths of the archaeological collections include their worldwide scope and the extensive Palaeolithic and Mesolithic material. Important anthropological collections include artefacts from Cook's first voyage to the Pacific in 1769 and artefacts and photographs from the 1898 Cambridge Expedition to the Torres Strait.

Items from this collection

Collection details

World Cultures, Costume and Textiles, Archaeology

Key artists and exhibits

  • In addition to the permanent displays the following special exhibitions are currently on view:
  • Paired Brothers: concealment and revelation (Iatmul ritual art from the Sepik, Papua New Guinea)
  • Coveney: Island Identity in the Fens
  • ROCK-ART image people land knowledge
  • Vanuatu Stael: Kastom & Creativity
  • Designated Collection
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Buddha's Word poster

Buddha's Word: The Life of Books in Tibet and Beyond

  • 28 May 2014 — 17 January 2015 *on now

Buddha’s Word is the first exhibition of Tibetan material in Cambridge. It is also the first time in the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology’s history that its Buddhist collections will be showcased in an exhibition.

Developed in partnership with the Mongolia and Inner Asia Research Unit and with support from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Frederick Williamson Memorial Fund, Buddha’s Word brings together collections and research from three of the University of Cambridge Museums – the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and the Fitzwilliam Museum – as well as the University Library and Emmanuel and Pembroke Colleges.

Many of the artefacts, prints and manuscripts in the exhibition have never been on public display before. Exhibits include some of the oldest illuminated Buddhist manuscripts from the first decades of the eleventh century as well as specimens of skilfully illuminated wooden covers; a quartet of scroll paintings brought back from the infamous Younghusband Expedition; and a gift from the 13th Dalai Lama.
The exhibition charts some of the incredible journeys that the words of the Buddha have taken: crossing mountains and oceans and taking different material forms in different places. This is the story of the transformation of Buddha’s words, from palmleaf, to paper, to digital dharma. It focuses on books, not just as objects of learning and study, but as relics of the Buddha, and sacred objects in their own right.
You will never look at a book in the same way again.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.maa.cam.ac.uk

Adam and Eve are sent out of the garden, by Jan Tcega (2006)

Crafting Colour: Beads, Pattern and Painting from the Kalahari

  • 24 June — 28 September 2014 *on now

In 1990 an art workshop was established at the former mission of D’Kar in western Botswana. This exhibition features a range of work produced at the workshop, and explores its links with San rock art and beadwork, possibly the longest continually practiced artistic traditions in the world.

The exhibition examines the ways in which prints and paintings depict traditional occupations such as hunting and beadwork, but also considers the position people find themselves in today; with limited access to the land, and the resources it once supplied.

The development of this exhibition was supported in part by a Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Research Grant from the Art Fund, and a Research Grant from the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. A number of prints were presented by the Art Fund and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Suitable for

  • Any age

Website

http://www.maa.cam.ac.uk

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

Young Archaeologists' Club (YAC)

http://museum.archanth.cam.ac.uk/home/visiting/activities/yac/index.htm

The Cambridge branch of the Young Archaeologist's Club is hosted by the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Meetings in Cambridge are held monthly and past activities have included fieldwalking, site visits, and an archaeological pottery session.

How to obtain

Call the museum front desk on 01223 333516 for more details or to join.

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