Program in Early Cultures

Ancient Collections at Brown

Faculty and graduate students at Brown are able to take advantage of a variety of collections relevant to the study of early cultures, including these and more.

Brown University's Classics Department holds several hundred lantern slides, most likely from the late 19th or early 20th century, now stored in the department's basement.

Six (6) fragments on papyrus in large archaistic hieratic characters or cursive hieroglyphs arranged in vertical columns in black ink with yellow ochre and red border lines. The text is from Chapter 17 of the Book of the Dead. These pieces date from perhaps the Nineteenth Dynasty, 1295 BCE – 1186 BCE. The name of the deceased is not preserved in these fragments. The provenance of these fragments is unknown.

When Brown University received Rudolf Haffenreffer's private museum from his family in 1955, its collections included 60,000 objects from the Native cultures of the Americas. Under Brown's stewardship, the collections have grown in breadth and depth through fieldwork, donations, and strategic acquisitions to reflect research interests of Brown faculty and students.

Brown University's Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World possesses an impressive collection of over 10,000 ancient Greek and Roman coins and seals, as well as a useful teaching collection of electrotypes (coin copies) and literally thousands of coin casts (the latter are useful for representing issues not found in the collection, such as items from the Medici Cabinet in Florence, and for die studies). This collection has been slowly built up over the years, with gifts from numerous donors.

This project features miniature paintings from the estate of Mrs. Adrienne Minassian. The paintings often include text from Persian and Indian tales. Many of the illustrations within the Minassian Collection are depictions of stories from the classical Persian text, Shahnama of Ferdowsi.