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What's Here

The Oriental Museum is home to a huge range of artworks and archaeological artefacts from the great cultures of northern Africa and Asia. More than 33,000 objects, ranging in date from prehistory to the present day are housed in the museum’s galleries and stores.

Read more about each area of the collection or access our online database to find out more about individual objects.

Durham University also holds special collections at Palace Green Library and the Museum of Archaeology.


A world class collection, from Neolithic to modern day, outstanding in both depth and breadth.

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From stone sculpture to gold amulets, the largest Ancient Egyptian collection in the North East.

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Himalayas and Central Asia

Material from Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia and Afghanistan including a notable collection of thangkas.

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India and South Asia

Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism and so much more, plus extensive photograph collections.

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Arms and armour, wood block prints, ceramics and lacquer as well as contemporary manga and cosplay.

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Ceramics, musical instruments, textiles, furniture and prints. A small but varied collection.

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South East Asia

Diverse in range and content, with objects from right across the region.

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West Asia

Excavated material from the Ancient Near East together with arts and crafts of the Islamic era.

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Discover our collections

Search Durham collections using our online database. Explore items from the Oriental Museum that aren't on display.

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Object identification

Staff at the Oriental Museum are happy to try to help you learn more about an object you would like an opinion on. Please note that we cannot give valuations.

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