The Archaeology Collection

(click here to go the the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum Webpage)

Established in 1882, just six years after the founding of Johns Hopkins University, the Collection grew out of the interest of faculty in the Latin and Greek Seminaries, the Department of History and Politics and the Oriental Seminary in creating a university museum. The museum collection currently contains approximately 9000 artifacts from ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, the Near East, and the ancient Americas.

The archaeological collection on display, ca. 1915, at the Johns Hopkins Old Campus. Many of the artifacts seen in this image are currently on view in our new museum. Image courtesy of the Ferdinand Hamburger Archives of The Johns Hopkins University.

Significant collections of objects were purchased by Johns Hopkins University, or gifted to the archaeological collection over the past 128 years. In 1884, important Egyptian objects originally collected by collector and prominent Baltimorean Colonel Mendes Israel Cohen came to the university.   Also in 1884, Arthur L. Frothingham, Jr., a Fellow in Greek at the University, donated the first classical objects to the collection. This was the same year that Frothingham and his colleague Alfred Emerson, also a Fellow in Greek, established the Baltimore Society of the Archaeological Institute of America; they would go on to collect numerous ancient objects under the aegis of the Baltimore Society which were then held and displayed at Johns Hopkins. Harry Langford Wilson, professor of Roman archaeology and epigraphy collected artifacts acquired more than one thousand Etruscan and Roman artifacts for the collection between 1906 and 1909. Between 1905 and 1918, a large number of Egyptian artifacts came to Johns Hopkins through the work of James Teackle Dennis, a Baltimore native who worked with the Egyptian Exploration Fund. Other collections of Greek and Roman artifacts came from the Brooklyn Museum (1942) and JHU alumnus Kemper Simpson (1964).

A catalog of selected artifacts from the museum collection was published by Ellen Reeder Williams in 1984. The volume, entitled The Archaeological Collection of the Johns Hopkins University, was printed by The Johns Hopkins University Press but is out of print at present.