Archaeology from the Classical world
RAMM’s classical archaeology collection includes finds from Greece, Cyprus and Italy, including Etruscan and Roman objects. Some of these items were used by people in their everyday lives. Other objects were more special and were used in religious services, or buried with loved ones. The collection includes objects made from pottery, stone, glass and metal.
The Montague Collection
The largest part of RAMM’s collection was donated by Lt. Colonel Leopold Montague. He was passionate about collecting archaeological objects, and gathered together over 800 antiquities. The majority of his objects are from Greece, Rome, Egypt and Western Asia. One of his finest pieces is a Greek hoplite helmet found in the Straits of Euboea in 1870. Montague published many objects in the magazine ‘Bazaar’ to share his discoveries with other interested people. He was also passionate about local archaeology, and organised some of the first scientific archaeological excavations in Devon and Exeter.
Objects from Cyprus
RAMM has a fine collection of Cypriot antiquities. Nearly 200 of these were collected by Claude Delaval Cobham, who was a Commissioner for Cyprus. Most of the objects were grave goods from tombs, or offerings at sites called ‘sanctuaries’. The location of Cyprus in the meant it was ideally placed for trade with the Greek and Roman civilisations. But it was also ideally placed for invasion. The objects in RAMM’s collection show the people of Cyprus were influenced by Egypt, Western Asia, Greece and Rome.
Research and explore
You can see wonderful objects from this collection in the museum’s Ancient Worlds gallery.
Are you interested in using our collections for research? We welcome opportunities for research by students, local history or community groups, and interested individuals. Please contact us if you have an enquiry about this collection, or to make an appointment to visit objects and archives in store.