Research enquiries

The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology aims to provide the widest possible access to collections to the public, to members of communities represented in the collections, and to students and researchers. Our online catalogue can be accessed here. If you

A new collections study centre for MAA

We are hugely excited to be embarking on the most ambitious collections project undertaken by MAA for generations: the rehousing of our off-site collections to a refurbished historic Cold War bunker in south Cambridge, where they will be more digitally

Unestablished Senior Assistant Curator in Archaeology [Temporary Cover]

The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology seeks to appoint a Senior Assistant Curator in Archaeology, to start on 1 September 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available until 30 September 2020.

Closing date: 26 July 2019

Reference: JU19689

Education & Outreach Assistant (Part-Time, Fixed Term)

Education & Outreach Assistant (Part-Time (0.6 fte), Fixed Term)

Annual Salary scale: £22,659 – £26,243 pro rata

Closing Date: 19 July 2019

Reference: JU19635

Dr Ali Clark: Affiliated Researcher

Ali Clark (MA, PhD) is an Affiliated Researcher with the Museum. Between 2018-2019 she was a Newton Trust Research Fellow with the Museum. Prior to that she was post-doctoral research associate on the ERC funded Pacific Presences: Oceanic Art and

Publication Requests

MAA has around 270,000 digital images of objects in its collections. We aim to make these as available as possible online. Images up to 1200 pixels can be downloaded directly under a Creative Commons Licence (CC-BY-BC) from our online collections


Until 17 June 2018


Available from the Front Desk

India, Empire and Colonial Collecting

This gallery-taught, discussion based, session will introduce students to ‘indigenous’ tribal communities in India and explore their complex relationship with Britain during the empire. Using handling objects students will question colonial collection practices and look into how modern day collecting


The Museum’s governing body, acting on the advice of the Museum’s professional staff, may take a decision to return objects or specimens to a country or people of origin. The University of Cambridge will take such decisions on a case

MAA Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Clarke Hall: Archaeology of Cambridge[bs_row class=”row”][bs_col class=”col-sm-6″]Text[/bs_col][bs_col class=”col-sm-6″]Text[/bs_col][/bs_row] Located on the ground floor, the Cambridge Gallery is devoted to British archaeology and, in particular, the archaeology of Cambridge and the surrounding area. The only display of its kind in the

Enquiry service

Unfortunately MAA staff are no longer able to identify objects, nor can we provide valuations. If you have an archeological item that you believe to be over 300 years old – found in England or Wales, it may be identified and recorded

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Social Documentation

The new MAA Documentation System combines open-source technologies with deep social computing principles to create a truly innovative approach to museum documentation. The new MAA Documentation System shifts the age-old documentation principles of standardized description and information accumulation to multi-vocal

Recontextualizing Digital Objects

This proposal, a collaboration between the Ashiwi Awan Museum and Heritage Center (AAMHC), , representing the Zuni Community of the Zuni tribe, New Mexico – USA, Dr. Ramesh Srinivasan, an expert in cultural and ethnographic approaches toward the creation and

Rauru: Tene Waitere, Maori Carving, Colonial History

Tene Waitere (1854-1931) was one of the greatest Maori carvers of the colonial period. He acquired his skills in a customary manner, and had a profound knowledge of carving traditions, but worked in a new world, in the decades following

Art in Oceania

  The art traditions of Oceania have long been highly renowned. They have fascinated generations of museum visitors, artists, art historians, and anthropologists. While the profound influence of Pacific art on European modernists has often been noted, in recent decades

The Sea of Islands: the Pacific in the 19th century

This project involves work towards a major comparative history of the Pacific in the nineteenth century. While the historiography of the Pacific in the colonial age, and indeed of the colonial age in general, has oscillated between negative accounts that

Rock Art

Rock Art is an ongoing research project exploring the range, chronology, forms and contemporary meaning of Australian Rock Art from Arnem Land, Norther Australia. Fortunate circumstances – and good work by the first generation of field researchers – have provided

Getty Images

Getty Images is a two year research project, funded by the Getty Fund, to catalogue the photographic collections from the Arctic and Africa.


The Textiles web site


The Wordie Expedition Website is a geo-blog mashup, developed by the Museum and its MPhil students (2006-2007). It charts the voyage of the 1927 Wordie Expedition to Greenland and Baffin Island through interactive maps, blogs, comments and collections.    

Visual Histories

  Visual Histories Web Site


Blobgects is an innovative experiment where catalogue entries of the Museum’s collections are presented in a BLOG format. Visitors can tag pages, select via a tag-cloud, comment, trackback and save searches, all within the catalogue blog.

Bodies Exposed: Image and Identity

In a visually overloaded world we are bombarded with images of how we should look, act, and think. These images can define who we are. This exhibition demonstrates the conflicting ways we represent ourselves by exploring themes such as beauty,

The Archaeological Story according to BLACCXN

An experiment in museum interpretation, AHRC Creative Fellow, Alana Jelinek, has written a new version of the archaeological story to sit alongside the texts already present on the ground floor of the museum. This new interpretation is written from the

Pouhaki: A historic Maori flagpole arrives in Cambridge

On Thursday December 4 2008, a powhiri (welcome) and ceremony of dedication took place at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, marking the installation in the permanent galleries of an eight-metre pouhaki, or fully-carved Maori flagpole. The pouhaki was carved

Gandhi’s Children

A shelter for children on the outskirts of Delhi provides food and accommodation for 350 boys. Some are orphans, others have been abandoned, still others have run away from home. About half are held under a court order, having been

Kauage: Artist of Papua New Guinea

Mathias Kauage was an exuberant painter and a founding figure of modern art in the Pacific. Kauage (c. 1944-2003) was born in Chimbu Province in the Papua New Guinea highlands. In the late 1960s he was employed as a labourer

The Island

Brook Andrew is one of Australia’s most exciting contemporary artists. He has worked across a range of media – photography, installation and performance – and exhibited widely over the last fifteen years. Motivated by questions of politics, language, and Australia’s

Celebrating Ghana

                                                                          Celebrating Ghana –

Gordon Bennett

The 1807 act to abolish the transatlantic slave trade was a landmark event in the history of struggles against colonial exploitation, unfree labour, and institutional racism. Yet slavery, exploitation and racism persisted in many forms, and remain potent and poisonous

Pasifika Styles

Pasifika Styles was an exhibition and festival celebrating contemporary art work inspired by Maori and Pacific Island culture and historic collections. Showcasing selected works from New Zealand’s top contemporary and emerging artists, the exhibition was presented in the Museum’s galleries

The Zisha Ceramics of China

Zisha teapots have been made since the 16th century in the town of Dingshu, in the Jiangsu Province of China. Reputed to be the best for brewing tea, these exquisite teapots have enjoyed the status of luxury items for centuries.

Tall Stories: Cannibal Forks

15th September to 31st OctoberTall Stories: Cannibal Forks Alana Jelinek. The Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology is pleased to present the second in a series of art exhibitions and interventions by AHRC Creative Fellow, Alana Jelinek.’Tall Stories: Cannibal Forks’ explores

TATAU: Samoan Tattooing Global Culture

This exhibition is a revelation of a spectacular Polynesian body art,  the tattoo tradition of Samoa. For centuries peoples across the Pacific have decorated their bodies with dynamic tattoo designs. In Samoa Tufuga ta Tatau or ‘Priests of Tattoo’have continued,

TATAU: Symmetry Harmony and Beauty

This exhibition is a revelation of a spectacular Polynesian body art,  the tattoo tradition of Samoa. For centuries peoples across the Pacific have decorated their bodies with dynamic tattoo designs. In Samoa Tufuga ta Tatau or ‘Priests of Tattoo’have continued,


The Sami are an indigenous people in northern Europe. Their traditional territory, called Sãpmi, extends across four countries: Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. Artefacts from MAA’s Sami collections are once again on display in the world anthropology galleries, in a new exhibition which opened on Saturday 27 February.
MAA holds a small but significant collection of Sami artefacts and photographs, including two rare and important eighteenth-century divination drums, craft items from the nineteenth century and a valuable collection made by Ethel Lindgren and MikelUtsi in the 1930s.
The exhibit has been developed through cooperation between MAA staff, Sami colleagues in Sweden, and MPhil and doctoral students in Social Anthropology at Cambridge.

National Archaeology Week 2008

Saturday 12 July, Tuesday 14 to Friday 18 July SOUNDS AMAZING Explore the archaeology of music with drop-in activities, lunch-time talks and demonstrations in the Museum. Saturday 12 July A full day of activities, hands-on activities and events. All free

Altai Kai Siberian Music Workshop

Thursday 24 July evening The music of Altai Kai  exudes the energy and mystery of a snow-capped mountainous homeland in which powerful spirits need to be brought on side in order for herders and hunters to survive. By combining kai

Festival of Ideas 2008

Thursday 23 October 2.30 – 8pm Captain Cook Study Day Saturday 25 October 10.30am – 4.30 pm The Big Idea Drop in activities and demonstrations all day. Use the Museum’s amazing collections to inspire your artwork. Take part in the

Captain Cook Study Day

Thursday 23 October 2008 Captain James Cook is commonly regarded as the greatest sea explorer of all time. His voyages dramatically extended European geographic knowledge of the Pacific and Antarctic, but were also of tremendous importance for many encounters with

Science Festival 2008

Saturday 15th March 2008 Cambridge Science Festival Science on Saturday Make Your Own Rock Art On the lawn outside the Museum. All over the world ancient people made images – superb pictures like at Lascaux and innumerable sites in Australia,