Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Downing Street


Museum website



01223 333 516


01223 333 517

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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.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 4:30pm

Closed: Bank Holidays
1 week Christmas & Easter

Admission charges


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
Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Museums at Night

Manos Creadoras (Creative Hands): Chilean arts and crafts

  • 16 May 2014 5-9pm

Join us for this special evening opening, when the Museum is delighted to welcome three Chilean artists to demonstrate their contemporary and indigenous artwork. Come and meet the artists travelling to the UK for the first time:
Marta Morrison, who makes jewellery from silver along with wheat straw and wild oats; Cecilia Challapa, a weaver who uses alpaca wool from the Andes; and Nelly Zurita a creator of wearable art from dyed horsehair.

In association with Cambridge business Andes Crafts and the Chilean Embassy in London, relax with a glass of wine and explore the Museum’s collections from South America.

Suitable for

  • 18+


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)

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.