Archaeology & Anthropology Collections

The Wesleyan University Archaeology and Anthropology Collections (WUAAC) contain more than 30,000 archaeological and ethnographic objects from around the world. Once part of the Wesleyan Museum in the Orange Judd Hall of Natural Sciences (1871-1957), this teaching collection provides countless opportunities for students interested in anthropology, archaeology, history, museum science, classics, and more.

RELATED SITES

Anthropology
Archaeology
Art and Art History
Classical Studies
Medieval Studies

 

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This gold solidus of Justinian I, ca. 527-565 CE, is part of a coin collection left to Wesleyan by Classical Studies major Winthrop Dahl '84.

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Te Rangi Hiroa (Sir Peter H. Buck), pioneering Maori anthropologist and doctor, borrowed this Mangaian fan following a 1939 visit to the collections in order to study how it was made and share this knowledge back into the artisan community.

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Remember Pelton's Drug Store? Founding partner Charles Abner's initials are embossed on this ca. 1880 - ca. 1920 medicine bottle, salvaged by archaeology students during Middletown's Main Street redevelopment in the 1970s.

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This bronze medal from the 1900 Paris World's Fair was awarded to Wesleyan's own Wilbur O. Atwater, a pioneer in the field of human nutrition. It was designed by French artist Jules-Clément Chaplain in the burgeoning Art Nouveau style.

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Wesleyan's collections contain numerous samples of indigenous plants and foodstuffs, such as this dried bread, collected during John Wesley Powell's expeditions to the American West in the late 19th century.

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18th-century Middletown, CT, was a hub of global trade. This dish, excavated at the Charles Magill House on Union Street, was made over 3,000 miles away in Rouen, France ca. 1780-1790.

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Behind its dramatic-looking tusks, a walrus has a mouthful of smaller, blunt teeth perfect for crushing bivalve shells. Teeth provide a wealth of information to archaeologists; they can help reveal environment, diet, health and age-at-death.

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This faience shabti figurine was reportedly obtained for Classics professor James C. van Benschoten by Egyptologist Flinders Petrie. Somehow, the two fragments ended up split between a private collection and objects left to the Wesleyan Museum. After spending over a century apart, the feet and upper body were reunited in 2005.