CARING FOR OUR TREASURES: This gallery is now closed.
A number of these collections have been re-located to the Ancient Worlds gallery on the first floor
Ground floor West
Admission free with entry donation
Auckland Museum has a small but fascinating collection of artefacts representing Ancient Civilisations.
This collection highlights the cultures of both the Old World and New World civilisations. While most of the collection focuses on Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, Korea and the Americas, there are also objects from early Europe, Mesopotamia, Persia, Cyprus and Crete.
About one-third of the collection showcases Egyptian artefacts. They include two rare mummy portraits which were attached to mummies when they were entombed. These paintings, one of a man and the other a woman, date from after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, in the Roman Period. Also featured are Predynastic painted storage-pots that are 5000 years old.
China also has a strong presence in the collection with ceramic, bronze and jade artefacts, ranging in age from the Neolithic Period (21st Century BC) to the Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD). Arguably one of the best items in the Chinese collection is a Tang Dynasty three-colour camel which stands nearly 70 cm in height. The camel is an outstanding example of its ceramic genre. Another example is a powerfully modelled Tang Dynasty horse figurine.
The collection also includes early Korean pieces on loan from the National Museum of Korea in Seoul, and an interesting collection of very lively and vibrant ceramic pieces from the pre-Columbian period of the Americas.