Museum of Classical Antiquities

Guided tours

Discover hidden treasures!

Established in 1975 as a teaching collection, the Museum of Classical Antiquities at the Department of Classical and Religious Studies is designed to inspire interest in classical studies in students of all ages.

Comprised of artifacts which reflect daily life during the period from the 7th century BC to the 7th century AD the permanent collection is enhanced by touring exhibitions and artifacts belonging to Canadian and foreign collectors.

On display

A large collection of ancient pottery from all over the Mediterranean.

Guided tours by appointment only

Desmarais Building
55 Laurier Ave. East,
3th Floor 
Ottawa, ON Canada
Telephone: 613 562-5800, ext. 1650

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Collection

Established in 1975 as a teaching collection, the Museum of Classical Antiquities at the Department of classical and religious studies aims to inspire interest in classical studies in students of all ages.

Comprised of artefacts that reflect daily life during the period from the 7th century B.C. to the 7th century A.D., the permanent collection is enhanced by touring exhibitions and artefacts belonging to Canadian and foreign collectors.

Mission statement

The mission of the University of Ottawa Museum of Classical Antiquities is as follows:

  • to collect, preserve, and interpret a cross-section of objects from Pre-Classical and Classical Antiquity illustrating aspects of daily life;
  • to provide exhibitions, programs and related activities highlighting the collection, or parts thereof, in order to enrich the cultural and intellectual environment of the University community and the general public;
  • to provide access to the collection for direct study by students, faculty and independent researchers;
  • to enable students to gain practical experience with basic museum procedures.

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On display

A large collection of ancient pottery from all over the Mediterranean.

The museum has artefacts from ancient Greek and Roman civilizations dating from the 7th century B.C. to the 7th century A.D.

Terra cotta female figurine

Orientalizing Period (ca. 700-600 B.C.)
Cultural renaissance and artistic development (including the rebirth of figural art) were due to Greek colonization and renewed contacts with the Near East.
On loan from the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Archaic black-figure kylix

Archaic Period (600-480 B.C.)
This phase evolved as a result of intensified contacts with Egypt, promoting the growth of temple architecture and monumental stone sculpture. The period was marked by the consolidation of prosperity in Greece and the seizure of political power by tyrants, who encouraged trade and supported the arts.

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Classical red-figure column krater

Classical Period (480-323 B.C.)
The elimination of the Persian threat, the resulting re-establishment of pan Hellenic games and festivals (e.g. at Olympia) and the refurbishment of Athens under Pericles created new venues for artistic development and civic patronage. In spite of the Peloponnesian wars between Athens and Sparta during the second half of the Classical period, Athenian building and patronage continued.

Hellenistic terra cotta statuette of a woman

Hellenistic Period (323-31 B.C.)
The outset of this period was marked by the death of Alexander and the division of his empire amongst his generals, who would rule as absolute monarchs. During this period, important eastern centres of art and patronage emerged such as Antioch, Pergamon, Ephesos and Alexandria.

Roman terra sigillata ewer

Roman Period (27 B.C. - 476 A.D.)
With the establishment of the Roman Empire in 27 B.C., the city of Rome became the leading artistic centre of the Western Empire for several centuries. Hellenistic centres of the Eastern Empire continued to flourish. After the initial Republican period (ca. 500 - 27 B.C.), influenced by the Hellenistic art of the Greeks, but also marked by the indigenous Italic features, there were three main phases of Imperial Roman art: Early Imperial, "Second Century" and Late Antique.

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Last updated: 2012.08.30