Gifts and Discoveries

The Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, Cambridge

Mark Elliott and Nicholas Thomas (eds)


  • Fascinating overview of a Designated Collection of national importance
  • The strengths of the archaeological collections include their worldwide scope and the extensive Palaeolithic and Mesolithic material


The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Cambridge holds world-class collections of art and artefacts from many parts of Oceania, Africa, Asia and the Americas. These ethnographic objects include spectacular masks, canoes and sculptures, some collected during the voyages of Captain Cook to the Pacific, others assembled by Cambridge fieldworkers from the late 19th century onwards. The museum also displays epoch-making archaeological discoveries, ranging from the very earliest hominid tools, excavated by Louis Leakey from Olduvai Gorge in eastern Africa, through early south American textiles, to Roman and Anglo-Saxon finds from various parts of Britain. This beautifully illustrated and illuminating book introduces one of the most important institutions of its kind in Britain, and explores the significance of these world-class collections for 21st-century audiences.

Author information

Mark Elliott is a curator at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge. Nicholas Thomas is Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Cambridge.