- Palaeolithic 250,000 - 8,300 BC
- Mesolithic 8,300 - 4,000 BC
- Neolithic 4,000 - 2,000 BC
Many of the finds displayed in the Prehistoric Galleries were originally collected by J.R. Mortimer, one of the most important amateur archeologists of the nineteenth century. These include stone tools of the earliest human settlers.
Bronze Age 2,000- 600 BC
Bronze Age treasures include a spectacular display of exquisitely crafted pottery beakers and food vessels as well as the magnificent swords, axes and daggers which were the luxury goods of those ancient times. The mysterious Roos Carr figures, doll like wooden sculptures from about 600 BC are believed to represent warriors or gods.
Iron Age 600 BC- AD 43
The North Grimston Sword is a particularly fine example of the Celtic metal worker’s art. Visitors can also wander through a full size reconstruction of part of an Iron Age settlement, complete with thatched roundhouse and two-horse chariot. The Hasholme Boat which dates back some 2,300 years is a giant oak logboat sank whilst loaded with a cargo of wood and beef.
Roman Britain AD 43- 410
The focal point of the museum’s Roman galleries is a recreation of the centre of the Roman settlement of Petuaria (Brough). Innovative displays of pottery, glass, oil lamps and brooches are mounted in shop windows around the town square, and visitors can also inspect a tax collector’s office and mosaic maker’s workshop.
Saxons and Vikings AD 410-1066
By the fifth century AD German settlers were living in East Yorkshire. Finds from the region also reflect overseas trade, with imported objects ranging from silver coins minted in Frisia to a fine bronze Coptic bowl from Egypt.
After Viking raiders first attacked Britain in the late 8th century, they settled and lived peacefully for alongside their English neighbours. A fine Viking sword was found together with various wood-working tools when a tenth century bridge was excavated at Skerne, near Driffield, in 1982-83.
Medieval and Early Modern Hull (1066-1642)
In our medieval galleries key topics such as religion, war, agriculture, crafts, industries, trade, travel and literacy are tackled in a series of thematic displays. Visitors can examine at close quarters an intricately carved Norman font from Hutton Cranswick as well as handling a range of medieval stone carvings. Objects from daily life, including games, kitchenware and even writing equipment take visitors up to the outbreak of the Civil War in the mid seventeenth century.