This family friendly archaeology gallery reveals the lives of some of Brighton & Hove’s earliest residents from the Ice Age to the Saxon era.

  • Winner of the Society for Museum Archaeology Annual Awards for Excellence 2020

Using modern scientific technology, our research into the lives of seven people buried in the local area has unearthed stories of toothache, malnutrition, childbirth and possibly even murder. Forensically accurate 3D facial reconstructions reveal the faces of our ancestors. Digital 3D models show how they lived in Brighton and Hove.

The gallery also features key artefacts from our archaeology collections, and exhibits loaned by other museums. Highlights include:

  • the world famous Bronze Age Amber Cup, discovered in Hove in 1856 in the grave of a local ruler;
  • the mysterious Sussex Loops, intricately designed items that are unique to the local area, but of unclear purpose;
  • a bronze Romano-British statuette of a stag, discovered by a metal detectorist in Woodingdean

Many of the items in the gallery have not been on public display for over 20 years.

Children & Families

Children can explore the gallery through the eyes of time-traveller Elva, as she journeys through the centuries. Elva’s adventures are a specially commissioned set of children’s stories that can be read and followed throughout the gallery. They were written by local children’s author Imogen White and illustrated by local artist Jennifer Khatun.

Videos throughout the gallery demonstrate some of the ancient skills people used to survive, and you can listen to the ambient sounds of our prehistoric ancestors at work and the lanscape they lived in. Visitors can also learn about some of the scientific theory and methods behind the stories we tell.

Group of young people watching a video in a museum gallery
St Lukes Primary School pupils
The opening of the new Elaine Evans Archaeology Gallery. Brighton Museum & Art Gallery. Picture: Allan Hutchings.


Young people might also be interested in joining the Brighton Young Archaeologists’ Club which meets in the gallery.

Where is it?

The Archaeology gallery is located on the ground floor of Brighton Museum, directly off the 20th Century Art & Design gallery. 

More information

Follow the links below to learn more about the gallery, the research behind it, and access online resources about archaeology and our collections.

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