Museum History

The Peabody Museum was founded in 1866 by George Peabody and is one of the oldest museums in the world devoted to anthropology. The Museum has one of the most comprehensive collections of North American archaeology and ethnology in the world.

Examples include

  • The largest collection of artifacts known to have survived the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804–06.
  • Important collections from South America, including more than 5,000 ancient Peruvian textiles.
  • The finest archaeological documentation of the Maya, as well as the most extensive and varied collection of Mesoamerican artifacts and sculpture outside Mexico.
  • Early and rare historical collections from the Pacific Islands, especially Hawaii, Fiji, and Tonga.
  • One of the ten largest photographic archives, documenting the cultures of indigenous peoples across the world.
  • A strong relationship to indigenous communities whose histories and cultures are reflected in the collections.

The Peabody Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM).

 

 

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1899 display of Copan artifacts. Photo Archives.
PM 2004.24.1777.

 

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Harvard University, 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University

 


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