The Collections of Medelhavsmuseet

Medelhavsmuseet (The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities) is a state museum that was founded in 1954 following a decision by the Swedish Parliament. The Cyprus Collections, excavated by the Swedish Cyprus Expedition during 1927–1931 and collections from the old Egyptian Museum are the main keystones at the museum. The Cyprus Collections rank among the best in the world and are the largest existing collections outside of Cyprus. Various other Swedish collections from the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and Near East have also been added to the museum. Among these can be found the large collection of antiquities from the National Museum including the Greek vases that King Gustav III acquired during his journey to Italy 1783 – 1784 as well as many other objects that Swedish royalty, diplomats and travellers brought home from countries around the Mediterranean.

The so-called comparative collection of the Museum of National Antiquities (Historiska museet) was also brought to the museum in 1957. The collection consists of items donated by Swedish travellers but also antiquities that Sweden exchanged with other countries for the purpose of research and study. The same year, collections from ancient Iran were relocated to Medelhavsmuseet from the Museum of National Antiquities (Historiska museet). These consist of finds made by T.J. Arne during his excavations of Shah Tepe in 1932 – 1933 and the important collection of bronze artefacts from Luristan. In addition, Medelhavsmuseet has significant collections of objects from the Islamic World, predominantly from Iran, Egypt and Turkey.