The heart of the archaeology collection consists of the finds and archives from excavations in and around the Roman Forts of Arbeia (South Shields) and Segedunum (Wallsend), covering work carried out from the late nineteenth century up to the current day.
There is excavation material from Anglo-Saxon Wearmouth, Sunderland, and finds from modern archaeological fieldwork that has been carried out within the Tyne and Wear region.
There is also a large prehistoric collection from Wearside, and an assorted assemblage of archaeological material from elsewhere in Britain, Ireland, Europe and Egypt.
Highlights of the Archaeology collections include:
- Finds and archives from the excavations at Arbeia Roman Fort, including a rare pattern-welded sword and the only complete Roman ring-mail suit in the country
- Finds and archive from the excavations at Segedunum Roman Fort, including an unusual portable lead shrine and three complete bronze cooking pots deliberately hidden in one of the barracks
- Finds from the excavations of the Anglo-Saxon monastery at Wearmouth, including a beautiful collection of pieces of coloured window glass
- Prehistoric finds from Wearside, such as a huge log boat, a bronze sword and Bronze Age burials
- Material from modern archaeological fieldwork carried out within the Tyne and Wear region
- Objects from ancient Egypt, such as a preserved loaf of bread
- Material from elsewhere in Britain, Ireland and Europe