Collections from Europe account for a small percentage of the overall collection, but include notable archaeological and cultural material spanning thousands of years of human history, with a significant collection of stone tools and art dating to the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, and Iron Age periods. The European collections also including nineteenth-century ethnographic objects created by artists and makers in eastern Europe and the Mediterranean.
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Highlights from the European Collections
Large collection of prehistoric North Italian bronzes gathered in the 1880s by Dana Estes from the necropolis at Caverzano, near Belluno, in VenetiaOrnamental bronze fibula (brooch or pin) excavated from village near Belluno, Italy. Bequest of Dana Estes, 11-50-40/83670
Bronze Age materials from Central Europe collected by Dr. V. J. Fewkes during several collaborative 1930s expeditions, including materials from the late Neolithic village Homolka and painted pottery from Starčevo, a site belonging to the earliest farming and pottery-making phase of the Eastern European Neolithic dating back to the fourth millennium BCECeramic ladle from the late Neolithic village Homolka. Central European Expedition, V. J. Fewkes Director, 1929-1931, 34-93-40/1104
Osteological collections and associated archival materials from the primarily 15th-century medieval European cemetery in the Trebisnjica River Valley, which was excavated in 1967 by the Joint Stanford-Yugoslavian (Zemaljski Muzej, Sarajevo) Archaeological ExpeditionFaunal (possibly rodent) remains excavated from Čepelica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stanford-Yogslav Trebisnjica Project, 1967, 986-10-40/N9382.2
Paleolithic stone tools and cultural artifacts from sites in France, Germany, and Ireland. Lower Paleolithic collections from France, including the sites of Abri Pataud (47,000 BCE – 17,000 BCE) and Saint Acheul (500,000 BCE - 300,000 BCE), as well as Upper Paleolithic (50,000 BCE – 12,000 BCE) sites in Germany and ItalyChipped stone hand axe from Saint Acheul, France. Bequest of Henry W. Haynes, 12-10-40/E1165
Dr. Charles Peabody’s extensive collection of archaeological specimens from across Europe acquired during several expeditions with the intent of amassing collections for the museum, including several of the most well-known famous European prehistoric sites and flint chips and fragments from the supposed "eolithic" sites of Otta, Portugal, and of Mons, BelgiumBone needles from the Cavern of Espelugues, Lourdes, France. Gift of Charles Peabody, 12-17-40/81527
Large collection of Neolithic (7000 BCE- 1700 BCE) archaeological material from central Europe, notably Swiss Lake Dwellings, collected by French archaeologist Gabriel de Mortillet, and the early dwellings of St Aubin and Concise at Lake Neuchâtel collected by Dr. Clement in the 1860sHandle of Iron sword; 12th-14th century., Lake Neuchâtel Region in the French-speaking area of Switzerland. Museum purchase, 71-19-40/6085
Significant archaeological materials from the decades-long investigations of the Abri Pataud, a large Upper Paleolithic rock shelter in southwestern France, undertaken by the Museum’s Curator of Paleolithic Archaeology Hallam L. Movius who was one of the first archaeologists to use carbon-14 dating to systematically determine the precise age of his findingsGlazed ceramic potsherd from Abri des Merveilles at Castel-Merle, Sergeac (Dordogne). Gift of the American School of Prehistoric Research, 34-100-40/1690
Iron Age (800 BCE - 1 CE) archaeological and osteological collections from central Europe and the Mediterranean, including materials from Slovenia excavated in the early 20th century by the Duchess Marie of Windisch-Graetz (1856-1929), often known as the Duchess of MecklenbergEarly Roman glass dishes excavated from Vinica, North Macedonia. Museum Purchase, 40-77-40/12521
All images © President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology unless otherwise noted