For the first time in French-speaking, Château de Prangins is exhibiting masterpieces from the archaeological collection of the Swiss National Museum.

First established back in the 19th century, this exceptional collection spans the millennia, from 100,000 BC to 800 AD: the Palaeolithic Era to the Early Middle Ages. It is also unique in Switzerland in that it illustrates the archaeology of all the country's regions.

The exhibition is divided into three sections, the first of which looks at the formation of the collection. It includes the Roman jewellery from Lunnern: unearthed in 1741. Another highlight is the Gross collection who collected several thousand items from the sites of pile-dwelling settlements. Archaeological digs are illustrated by the presentation of goods from three graves in the necropolis found at Giubiasco (Ticino).

The second section of the exhibition displays in chronological order the most spectacular – and most interesting – items in the collection. They include the pierced reindeer antler from Schweizersbild (SH), one of the earliest artistic expressions discovered in Switzerland; the Bronze Age golden bowl from Zurich-Altstetten; and the Villeneuve helmet from the 6th century AD.

The third section focuses on a little-known aspect of the Swiss National Museum’s work, with a film on the Collection Centre.

Visitors can continue their exploration of Swiss archaeology via multimedia terminals featuring a brief presentation of each era together with interactive maps.

The Zurich-Altstetten bowl (Zurich). Bronze Age
© Swiss National Museum

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