What to see at Hull and East Riding Museum of Archaeology

The displays trace the natural and human history of the region, from the Triassic to the Civil War.

Natural History

Ever wanted to touch real fossils or come face to face with a full-size Woolly Mammoth? Do you wonder what weird creatures swam in the warm seas during the Jurassic period? Or perhaps you'd like to see the remains of the only dinosaur bones found in the East Riding. These are just some of the artefacts we have on display from the last few millennia.

Stone Age 500,000–2,350 BC

Come face to face with a Neanderthal and find out about the first people to inhabit our region after the Ice Age. Explore how people adapted to changes in the environment and see the tools they made and used. Many of the stone artefacts were collected from the Yorkshire Wolds by J.R. Mortimer – one of the most important amateur archaeologists of the nineteenth century.

Bronze Age 2,350–800 BC

Discover finely crafted beakers and fascinating food vessels in the Bronze Age gallery. Not to mention an array of magnificent swords, axes and daggers – the luxury goods of ancient times. You can also visit the mysterious Roos Carr figures, doll-like wooden sculptures from c. 600 BC.

Iron Age 800 BC–AD 43

Stroll through a life-size reconstruction of an Iron Age settlement, complete with thatched roundhouse and two-horse chariot. Explore the 2,300-year-old Hasholme Boat that sank while loaded with a cargo of wood and beef. Or see the North Grimston Sword, an exquisite example of Celtic metal-worker’s art.

Roman Britain AD 43–410

Visit a recreated Roman town square, complete with spectacular mosaics from the villas at Rudston, Brantingham and Horkstow. Peep into shop windows to find pottery, glass, oil lamps and brooches. Or step inside a tax collector’s office and mosaic maker’s workshop.

Saxons and Vikings AD 410–1066

Find out about the invaders and settlers who came to East Yorkshire from the fifth century AD. Discover the incredible craftsmanship of the Anglo-Saxons and wonder at their grave-goods, traded from across the Continent. Discover a fine Viking sword and a hoard of woodworking tools found in the River Hull at Skerne, Driffield.

Medieval and Early Modern Hull (1066–1642)

These recently refurbished displays begin with the growth of Beverley as a hub for local industries and then move to Kingston Upon Hull as it rose to become a major trading port. Goods from France, Holland and Spain have been found in recent excavations in the Old Town, and personal items such as toys, jewellery and even children’s shoes, bring us close to the people who lived and worked here. Don’t miss ‘Henry’s Gun’ on display at the main entrance!

Want to dig a little deeper? Take a look at some of the special objects we hold in our collections.

The Medieval Gallery features a fascinating array of handcrafted objects. Discover how these were made in our short film series.