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Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology





Gifts and Discoveries in the Li Ka Shing Gallery



Gifts & Discoveries is the first special exhibition in MAA’s new Li Ka Shing Gallery. It tells the stories behind some of the outstanding artefacts in the Museum’s collection and traces their journeys to Cambridge. The collections of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology are a revelation of humanity’s history, of human diversity, and of the ongoing dynamism of world cultures in the present. The Museum’s collections were brought together by a host of European travellers and scientists, many of them Cambridge fieldworkers. Their finds, and the things they received as gifts or in trade, have acquired new meanings over time. People including curators, researchers, artists and members of the public continue to explore them further and ask new questions of them. This exhibition presents just a small number of the remarkable objects in the Museum’s collections. It is dedicated to their fertility – there are stories here that we are yet to discover.


A book edited by Mark Elliott and Nicholas Thomas accompanies the exhibition, fully illustrated and with further information about many of the exhibits in Gifts & Discoveries and in the Museum’s permanent galleries.

Two million years of human history. One million artefacts. Countless astonishing stories.