Department of Pre- and Protohistory, University of Göttingen
Nikolausberger Weg 15
37073 Göttingen

Public exhibition: no
Guided tours: by appointment

Dr. Immo Heske
Tel.: 0551 39-25080

The year 1929 saw the establishment of the Pre- and Protohistory Department at the University of Göttingen and with it, the creation of a collection of material for use in the teaching of prehistoric archaeology. This collection continues to play an essential role for academic teaching in this object-related subject, which deals explicitly with material culture. Objects on permanent loan from the Hanover Provincial Museum formed the cornerstone of the collection, many of them being of non-Hanoverian provenance and replicas. The first prehistoric objects had already begun to arrive at the University’s Royal Academic Museum by the beginning of the 19th century, due to a steadily increasing interest in ‘Germanic antiquity’. This is largely thanks to Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752 – 1840), who was in charge of the Royal Academic Museum at that time. In the second half of the 19th century, the holdings were distributed between various institutes and departments at the university. A large part was sent to Hanover, long before the study collection was established in Göttingen by the first tenured professor, Karl Hermann Jacob-Friesen (1886-1960), also Director of the Hanover Provincial Museum at the time. Thanks to him, part of the old Academic Museum collection returned to Göttingen. In 1967 the collection was substantially expanded through permanent loans from the Brunswick State Museum in Wolfenbüttel. Today, the collection has ceased to grow to any major extent, additional objects rarely being added since all new archaeological finds must be sent to the state museum for the region in which they are discovered.

The collection currently consists of some 8,450 inventory numbers and although it cannot claim to deliver a representative picture of particular regions or periods, it provides a good overview of central European pre- and protohistory. In the context of teaching and learning, the objects are used primarily as visual and haptic aids for lectures and seminars and as study material. Due to limited space, the collection is not accessible to the public, but several display cases in the corridors of the department give an insight into its richness and diversity.

Jens Schneeweiß

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