John and Joséphine Bowes, founders of The Bowes Museum collected objects of archaeological significance. These objects illustrate the founders’ wish to provide visitors to their Museum with access to archaeological specimens from different cultures, and a fascination with understanding how people lived in the past.The Museum has continued to collect archaeological objects from County Durham since the 1930s. The collection now includes local material ranging from prehistoric flints to medieval pottery and beyond.
Cast copper alloy cruciform brooch (unknown) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
This is an example of a common style of cruciform brooches found during this period. The foot of this brooch ends in an animal head with scrolled nostrils and side lappets in the form of animal heads.
Eggleston Urn (Late bronze age) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
This bucket urn was discovered in Eggleston after a flooding of the Tees in 1967 and is thought to date from the late Bronze Age pottery tradition found in Northern England and Southern Scotland.
Gainford Stone (unknown) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
This cup and ring stone was discovered in Gainford in 1932 during building work. Both sides of the stone are decorated with the cup and ring design.
Discovered in Gilmonby, this hoard contained a total of 123 objects, including axes, swords, and spear heads.
Bellamine Jug (1575/1599) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
Bellamine jars are also commonly referred to as Bartmann jars, Bartmann meaning ‘bearded man’. Such images were common on jars and jugs during this period.
Roman Dog statuette from Founder's Collection (unknown) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
Dogs are often depicted in Roman art as on guard or hunting. In some Roman religions dogs were seen as agents of healing (through the licking of wounds) and as protectors of the dead.
Egyptian Mummified Hand (unknown) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
This embalmed Egyptian hand was discovered in the tombs at Luxor. The hand was acquired during World War I by a private A. E. Attle of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Chester-le-street Face Pot (unknown) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
Face pots were probably introduced into Britain by the Roman army in the 1st century A.D. Generally they consisted of crude, barbaric features attached onto a storage jar or cooking pot on the shoulder or neck.
Piercebridge Head Pot (unknown) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
Human faces are often found on Roman pottery and may suggest a religious purpose. Roman head pots have been found in forts, villas, towns, villages, in wells, fields, bathhouses, and graves.
Polished Flint Axe (Early Bronze age) by unknownThe Bowes Museum
This polished axe is in very good condition and made of white flint. One face is convex and the other very slightly concave, with a symmetrical working edge.