A Noble Pursuit

Mecklenburg Iron Age Collection

Bridle ornament, Slovenia, Mecklenberg Collection. PM 34-25-40/8550.

The Duchess of Mecklenburg Collection from
Iron Age Slovenia

April 19, 2006–September 4, 2006

See the online exhibit

The exhibit highlighted both the collection and the extraordinary woman who excavated it. A pioneer of European archaeology, the Duchess Paul Friedrich of Mecklenburg took up the practice of archaeology at the age of 48 in 1905. Over the next nine years, and with the patronage of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef I and German Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Duchess excavated twenty-one sites in her home province of Carniola (modern Slovenia).

The result of her efforts, the Mecklenburg Collection, is the largest systematically excavated and documented collection of European antiquities outside of Europe. It encompasses the scope of Iron Age cultures in Slovenia. The exhibition presented thirty-four artifacts providing an overview of the scope and importance of the collection as a whole and attests to the enduring quality of the Duchess's pioneering work.

For more items from the Duchess of Mecklenburg collection, click here.

Curated by Gloria Greis

Available from the Peabody Museum Press

A Noble Pursuit: The Duchess of Mecklenburg Collection from Iron Age Slovenia

by Gloria Polizzotti Greis; Photographs by Hillel S. Burger