Pitt Rivers Museum – Oxford, England - Atlas Obscura

Pitt Rivers Museum

Ancient Egyptian wigs, South American feather headdresses, a bounty of anthropological artifacts in Oxford.  

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The Pitt Rivers Museum is a unique space which houses an awe-inspiring number and variety of objects. The Museum is famed for being quirky and endlessly intriguing, containing such unusual items as a necklace made of sperm whale teeth from Fiji, a voice disguiser made from the skin of a bat’s wing from Nigeria, a feather cloak from the Hawaiian islands, a parka made from seal gut from Alaska, a witch in a bottle, Samurai armour, and a witch bottle.

Our collections of anthropology and world archaeology are the most important in the UK outside the British Museum. These and the 600,000 objects that make up the Museum are displayed in our galleries, cared for in our stores and brought to vibrant and innovative life through our dedicated staff. The Pitt Rivers Museum is Oxford’s most popular public attraction and takes a global role in caring for its collections and the communities interested in them.

Unlike any other museum of its kind, the Museum has always arranged its 600,000 objects by type rather than time or region in a wonderful Victorian space. This allows us to see the ingenuity and common humanity of people. Inspired by this, we work closely with originating communities to improve the ways we care for their material, and benefit greatly from giving space to this more diverse set of voices.