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Roman mosaic fragment from Cathedral Close

Exeter Archaeology

Archaeology from Exeter

For 150 years the museum has collected archaeology from the city of Exeter. Our collection includes finds from the Roman fortress and town, the important medieval Cathedral city, and the prosperous Tudor city.

The earliest archaeological discoveries were made by local gentlemen with an interest in the city’s history, including objects such as Roman samian pottery. Since the 1970s the collection has grown significantly with material discovered in excavations by professional archaeologists. Our museum is still collecting archaeological finds from the local area.

You can see many of our wonderful archaeological objects in RAMM’s Making History gallery. We also have a significant amount of material in our stores which is available for research and creative inspiration.

Highlights of the Exeter Archaeology collection

Objects from the Roman legionary bath-house. This building was one of the finest Roman buildings in Britain, and one of the first to be built from stone. Items in our collection include fragments of floor mosaic, wall paintings, building tiles and window glass.

A large and important collection of medieval and post-medieval pottery, excavated from household rubbish pits in the city. The Exeter puzzle jug is one of the most extraordinary pieces of medieval pottery discovered in northern Europe.

 Researching the collection

Are you interested in using our collections for research? We welcome opportunities for the archaeology collection (including objects, paper and photographic records) to be used 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.

University researchers with the local archaeology collection

University researchers with the local archaeology collection

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