Elaine Evans Archaeology Gallery
Our family-friendly gallery takes you from the Ice Age to the Saxon era. It shows the lives of ancient individuals and communities, celebrating Brighton & Hove’s rich archaeological heritage.
This award-winning gallery takes you back in time, exploring the lives of seven early residents of Brighton & Hove. Our family-friendly displays centre on skeletons from the Ice Age to the Saxon period, which have been analysed using the latest scientific methods. You’ll see accurate 3D reconstructions of each of their faces, and fascinating details about their age, health and, in some cases, cause of death.
Food sources, tools and crafts
The displays reveal how and where each of the individuals might have lived – there are models of settlements, including Bronze and Iron Age roundhouses, as well as everyday objects, and the chronological arrangement shows how our food sources, tools and crafts have evolved over time. These highlight the similarities and differences between distinctive periods, while the personal stories aim to capture the imagination and reinforce our connections with our ancestors.
This is an immersive, atmospheric gallery – there are sounds of birdsong and film footage demonstrating ancient skills, while photographs of ancient Sussex woodlands adorn the walls.
Brighton as it was
Brighton & Hove is rich in archaeological heritage, and the gallery includes images of digital reconstructions of local sites, such as Hove Barrow and Hollingbury Hill Fort, as they may have looked in prehistoric times. You can see exhibits from our collections, including the Bronze Age Amber Cup, discovered in Hove in the grave of a local ruler in 1856. You can also see a number of Sussex Loops, decorative items from the Bronze Age, which are unique to the local area.
Children can explore the gallery through a series of specially commissioned stories by local author Imogen White and local artist Jennifer Khatun about time-traveller Elva, a 12-year old girl who journeys through the centuries.