Durham University Museum of Archaeology

The Museum of Archaeology in its current form grew out of the Department of Archaeology at Durham University. The link between the two remains a close one. However, the history of the Museum goes back much further, to the founding of the University and the first University Museum. 


Exhibition: Living on the Hills

10,000 years of Durham

This permanent exhibition uses objects from Museum of Archaeology, alongside objects from across Durham University and other regional museums to explore the last 10,000 years of Durham. 

Living on the Hills explores the lives of people who have lived and visited Durham through the tools and everyday objects they used, and the art and architecture they left behind to be rediscovered. Discover Prehistoric objects found by chance at the turn of the century, Roman objects uncovered by Victorian antiquarians and Medieval objects found during 1970s archaeological excavations. 


Included in the gallery is a community archaeology space which will showcase the work of local archaeology and history groups from across the region.


DECAY: Time, Objects & Destruction

16 June 2017 - 29 October 2017 

Find out about the hidden world of decay in museums through this exhibition looking at the effects of time on objects.

How can water destroy glass? Why do we not have much iron from the Iron Age? Why should I brush my teeth twice each day?

The key is TIME.

A new exhibition is now on display at Durham University’s Museum of Archaeology, in Palace Green Library. Created by the MA Museum and Artefact students ‘Decay: Time, Objects & Destruction’ showcases the impact of time on objects.

DECAY explores the interesting effect that time can have on museum objects. The exhibition aims to showcase the different stages of object decay by looking at various types of materials, including leather, glass and iron. Objects from the local area, integrated into the existing Living on the Hills gallery, show the impact of decay and explain the scientific process behind it.

DECAY also looks to the future to see what the effect of times are on modern artefacts – such as mobile phones, plastics and toys, to ask: what will these objects look like in 500 years?

Opening Times


12:00 - 17:00


10:00 - 17:00


10:00 - 17:00


10:00 - 17:00


10:00 - 17:00


10:00 - 17:00


10:00 - 17:00


Find us

Palace Green Library, Durham DH1 3RN

0191 334 2932