Ruhr Museum

Archaeology

The archaeological collection, which now contains over 50,000 objects from various periods, cultures and materials, is based around artefacts from the Historical Society for the City of Essen and Essen Abbey (Historischer Verein für Stadt und Stift Essen) founded in 1880. The collection increased considerably thanks to the efforts of Dr. Ernst Kahrs, the director of the Ruhrlandmuseum from 1910 to 1948. Due to extensive archaeological excavations throughout North Rhine-Westphalia and various acquisitions from, amongst other sources, the archaeologist Robert Forrer, Dr. Kahrs was able to expand the pre-historical core of the collection with items from Northern and Central Europe and Egypt. Especially noteworthy are the excellently preserved objects made out of organic materials from pile dwellings in Central Europe dating back to the New Stone Age and Bronze Age.

Subsequent acquisitions, especially after the Second World War, tended to focus on items from early civilisations in Greece, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Egypt. These purchases resulted in magnificent collections of ancient Greek and Roman vessels and glassware and Luristan bronze objects from Iran.

Archaeologists employed by the city of Essen, whose discoveries date from the Old Stone Age over the Early Modern Age to the Industrial Period, ensure that the local and regional archaeological artefacts of the Ruhr Museum steadily increase.