Our collection of overseas archaeology contains a fascinating variety of objects from the great civilisations of Western Asia, Greece, Rome, Egypt and Cyprus.

The 18th and 19th centuries were a heyday for collecting foreign archaeology. People were fascinated by the mystery and glamour of the ancient world, and they were inspired to collect pieces of history.

Some collectors were tourists, military officers or colonial officials who picked up antiquities on their travels. Other people lived in Devon and bought objects from dealers and auction houses. Private collections such as these were donated to the museum and form the core of the collection.