FAU Collection of Antiquities
Collection of Antiquities
The Institute for Classical Archaeology owns both a collection of plaster casts and a larger number of ancient originals. Established in 1853, this collection is now Bavaria’s third largest museum of Classical antiquity. It was the starting point for Classical Archaeology as a university subject in Erlangen which did not begin operating until a quarter of a century after the collection was founded.
In the beginning, there were just fifteen casts of classical sculptures of Greek and Roman antiquity. Their function was described in the opening speech on 9 December 1857 as “the benefit that the immediate viewing of such [plaster casts] promises for the education and refinement of academic youth”. Today, they continue to be teaching aids and the subject of research.
In addition to two models built and exhibited in the collection in recent times which reconstruct different phases of the Forum Romanum (one of the most important square complexes of antiquity), the Collection of Antiquities houses important treasures in its archive, such as the academic estate of the archaeologist, collector and art dealer Paul Arndt and more than 20,000 photographs from the early days of photography which show many ancient remains captured in a state that is irretrievably lost today.
With the appointment of Heinrich Bulle to the Chair of Classical Archaeology in the year 1904, the first original ancient objects were added to the holdings of the Collection of Antiquities. The already existing plaster cast gallery was thus joined by a new collection. Today, plaster casts and originals can be viewed in the “Erlangen Collection of Antiquities” as a museum with regular opening hours. The collection of originals mainly contains pieces from Greek antiquity from Mycenaean times onwards, especially painted pottery from the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. Some of these pieces are unique in the world and bear the name of the city and the university, such as the “Erlanger Dreifuß” (“Erlangen Tripod”), the “Erlanger Becher” (“Erlangen Cup”) or the “Schale des Malers von Erlangen J 230” (“Kylix of the Painter of Erlangen J 230”).
In addition, the collection of originals possesses a considerable collection of ancient gems, i.e. decorative stones with figural depictions, as well as a collection of ancient coins. New insights and results of research are constantly being gained through academic study of these works which are presented to a wider public in special exhibitions.
Further information, including on current opening hours, can be found on the collection website.
Institut für Klassische Archäologie
Kochstr. 4 [Entrances are located in the basement]