Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England (with Map & Photos)

The Pitt Rivers Museum is located inside the University of Oxford, has archaeological and ethnographic exhibits from the most diverse places. It was founded in 1884 by General Pitt Rivers, a relevant figure in the development of evolutionary archeology and anthropology, who donated his extensive collection to the University of Oxford. We recommend a place that will make you travel to the farthest places and meet civilizations that are thousands of years old; ideal to complement the visit to the Natural History Museum of Oxford.

Pitt Rivers Museum
Pitt Rivers Museum

What we found at the Pitt Rivers Museum

The General Pitt Rivers donated more than 18,000 objects when he founded the Pitt Rivers Museum, although today has half a million, most donations anthropologists and explorers. The collection also includes photographic and sound files. As well as a collection of manuscripts; unique films that portray the ceremonies and daily life of different civilizations; and a virtual exhibition.

In most museums of this type, exhibitions are organized according to cultural or geographical areas. Instead, here they are arranged according to type: musical instruments, weapons, masks, textiles, jewelry and tools are distributed in groups, with the aim of demonstrating how the same problem has been solved through time by different civilizations.

Among the objects that are part of the permanent exhibitions are Objects from the Pacific Islands; layers of feathers; masks from North Japan, Africa, North America and Malaysia, sculptures of wood, metal and stone, boats of different sizes, ceramics from Africa and America, magical objects such as amulets and talismans; jewelry, accessories and suits; keys; tools; weapons; and musical instruments.

What to do at the Pitt Rivers Museum

The Pitt Rivers Museum offers activities for different ages and groups. Talks, tours and working groups take place every day. Some you can do are the following:

  • Art groups: join one of the short talks focused on particular areas of the art-related collections, such as masks or body art. You can also access the museum's online collections recommended for art groups: The Wilfred Thesiger Collection, Art Handbook or Artefact.
  • Music - Discover African rhythms and melodies from Zimbabwe to Mali. Play the xylophone in groups of 10 people per instrument and add voices, drums and panpipes.
  • Schools and children: get to know the museum on your own, make your own crafts or learn about the different objects and collections in the museum.

Pitt Rivers Museum Map