University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology



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The museum is part of the Faculty of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Cambridge and houses exhibits spanning two million years of human civilisation. It was established in 1884 and is still housed in its 1916 building in the Downing Street in the city centre. Some of the highlights are Pacific material collected on Captain Cook’s voyages of exploration, a 46-foot-high totem pole from Canada and some of the earliest stone tools ever found. Find out about local, national and world archaeology in the archaeology galleries, which include painted pottery from Peru, gilded Anglo-Saxon brooches and Roman altar stones.

University Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology
Downing Street,CAMBRIDGE,CB2 3DZ


  • Suitable for children of all ages
  • Parking nearby
  • Fully accessible
  • Facilities: Lift available
  • Accessible toilets
Opening times
  • Open all year
  • Opening Times: Open Tue-Sat, 10.30-4.30, Sun 12-4.30. Closed Mons, inc BHs. Closed 23 Dec-1 Jan

About the area

Discover Cambridgeshire

To the west of East Anglia is Cambridgeshire, a county best known as the home to the university that makes up the second half of ‘Oxbridge’ (the other half is Oxford). As well as its globally renowned educational credentials, it also has a rich natural history; much of its area is made up of reclaimed or untouched fens. These are low-lying areas which are marshy and prone to flooding. The lowest point in the UK is at Holme Fen, which is some 9 feet (2.75 metres) below sea level. Some of the fens had been drained before, but it was in the 19th and 20th centuries that wide-spread, successful drainage took place, expanding the amount of arable and inhabitable land available.

Ely Cathedral was built on an island among the swampy fens, but now sits among acres of productive farmland, albeit farmland criss-crossed by miles of flood-preventing watercourses. Oliver Cromwell was born in Ely, and his family home can still be visited. Cambridge itself is a beautiful and historic city, with any number of impressive old buildings, churches and colleges, and plenty of chances to mess about on the River Cam which gave the city its name.

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