The archaeological collection held at Tallinn University forms the largest part of the national archaeological collection in Estonia. 1947 is considered to be the foundation year of our research collection, while the oldest parts of collection derive from much earlier periods, even from the year 1838. Consisting of different parts, the research collection has formed as a result of merging collections from various institutions such as the Learned Estonian Society, Estonian Literary Society, Cabinet of Archaeology, University of Tartu, Estonian National Museum, Estonian History Museum and the Institute of History, Estonian Academy of Sciences. Since 2006, the archaeological collection of Tallinn University has been registered in the list of the state assets. The collection is marked by an acronym AI.
Archaeological collection of Tallinn University is divided between the special storage rooms in Rüütli Str. 8 and 10, Tallinn. Until 2012, a large part of our archaeo-osteological (bone) collections were deposited in rental space in Keila, later they were packed and transported to a temporary warehouse in Pääsküla. Since 2019, most of the bone collections have finally been moved to a new, specially designed storage house, called Ossa, in Ankru Str. 4a, Tallinn.
Archaeological collections support research
The archaeological collections are not only intended for storage, preservation and exhibition, but they are also intensively used for carrying out research. Collections are also open for researchers from outside Tallinn University. Keeping and preserving our cultural heritage assigns collection keepers an additional task: to open and make the collections accessible to both Estonian and foreign researchers, students and interested persons.