One of the main attractions in Odessa is museum of archaeology. Currently, base fund of the oldest museum in Ukraine has more than 170 thousand exhibits. Located in city center, among other tourist attractions, museum attracts visitors with the richest collection of ancient artifacts representing history of Odessa region.
Odessa Archaeological museum exposition departments
Odessa Archaeological Museum has exhibits from different eras:
– in department of archeology of primitive epoch collections represent covering historical period from 700 thousand years ago until II millennium BC. This material is dedicated one of the halls of museum.
– department of ancient archeology contains 2\3 of all exhibits of museum. There are artifacts of Ancient Greek and Roman periods, such as: antique vases, antique terracottas, antique sculpture and lapidary inscriptions, sculpture of ancient Cyprus, antique glass collection.
– scythian-sarmatian department includes the richest collection of Scythian antiquities. Scythians are Iranian-speaking nomadic tribes that inhabited northern Black Sea coast – modern south of Ukraine, from VIIth until IIIth centuries BC. Materials of Scythian culture, mainly obtained during excavations of numerous mounds of Odessa region. Collection of museum contains items of offensive and defensive weapons of nomads, as well as samples of Scythian stone sculpture, ceramics, jewelry made of metal and glass, ritual bronze cauldrons.
– in the Golden Pantry exhibits products made of precious metals, as well as coins and medals. Collection of ancient jewelry collected for more than a hundred years. Basis of the meeting was gifts and purchases made by patrons, as well as materials from archaeological excavations. Currently, collection has more than 800 exhibits, which date back to 3rd millennium BC until XII-XIII centuries.
– numismatic subdivision of Odessa Archaeological Museum is over 54 thousand items. Numismatic collection includes antique, Byzantine, Oriental, Western European and Russian coins.
– an unique tourist attractions in Odessa is the only collection of Egyptian antiquities in Ukraine. That collection of monuments of Ancient Egypt presents: stone and wooden painted sarcophagi, mummies, inscriptions, fragments of papyri, vessels, everyday things and funeral implements. The first Egyptian things were donated to museum by one of its founders Ivan Blaramberg. The collection has been repeatedly replenished and today it has more than 400 exhibits, starting from pre-dynastic period of the history of Egypt and ending with Ptolemaic era.
Society of History
Odessa Archaeological Museum is one of the oldest museums in Ukraine, and the oldest museum in our city. He started his career in 1825, when customs official I. Blaramberg opened his private collection of ancient artifacts for public viewing. Blaramberg became the first director.
Its history closely connected with Society of History and Antiquities, founded in 1839. This was a meeting of private individuals who initiated systematic scientific research on territory of south Ukraine. Since the first years of its existence, that society has developed a program of activities. There are three main directions in it. Excavations and protection of archaeological monuments, collection and storage of museum exhibits, publication of scientific works. These people have carried out numerous excavations of archaeological monuments throughout Northern Black Sea Coast. These research carried out on the territory of modern Republic of Moldova, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kherson regions of Ukraine, in Crimea peninsula. Since 1847 Society has received the right to conduct archaeological and ethnographic research on Black Sea coast of Caucasus.
In addition, working in cooperation with Odessa archaeological museum, Odessa Society of Antiquities lovers issued their memos. This is an invaluable scientific and literary heritage of 19th century. In these works almost all problems concerning with archeology of south of Ukraine were raised. They reflected the history of Stone Age, Bronze Age, Scythian culture, a special place was occupied by ancient archeology, history of Slavs, Cossacks, Middle Ages, ancient geography, cartography, etc.