Australian National University Classics Museum – Acton, Australia - Atlas Obscura

Acton, Australia

Australian National University Classics Museum

A little-known museum of Ancient Roman and Ancient Greek artifacts. 

The Classics Museum, located in the heart of the Australian National University campus, is a small, well-maintained museum that’s open to the public. But though the museum is indeed open to the public, it isn’t well-known and is typically quiet outside of teaching periods.

The museum contains a collection of artifacts from Roman and Greek antiquity that the university staff has amassed since the museum’s founding in 1962. The collection is used as a resource for teaching university students in the Classics Department. 

In the center of the museum, you’ll spot a scale model of Ancient Rome, as well as a life-sized replica of an Aztec calendar stone. The installation of this calendar stone once sparked the outrage of famed provocative anthropologist Derek Freeman, an ANU professor best known for his life’s work of discrediting fellow anthropologist Margaret Mead.

You’ll also see display cabinets containing pottery depicting various scenes, ancient coins, and everyday items such as combs and hairpins, and tombstones. Throughout the building, though not part of the Classics Museum, are displays of contemporary artifacts and skeletons from the anthropology department.

Know Before You Go

The museum offers free guided tours on the second Friday of each month. Parking at the university is expensive and often difficult to come by during teaching periods. The A.D Hope building is a 20-minute walk from the city center.

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