Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology exhibition at the National Museum Cardiff

Treasures: Adventures In Archaeology exhibition at the Nation Museum CardiffThe National Museum Cardiff will be taking visitors back through the ages in its new exhibition, Treasures: Adventures In Archaeology, with everything from crystal skulls to battle helmets to discover. For budding archaeologists or history hoppers living in or visiting South Wales this year it’ll be one of the most important exhibitions on the calendar and should inspire a boom on trowel and brush sales in the Welsh capital (along with a fair few unexpected holes in the back garden).

Opening times, dates and ticket information

It will be opening at the stunning National Museum Cardiff on Tuesday the 26th January 2016 and it is set to run through the majority of the year before closing on Sunday the 30th October 2016. Ticket prices will be £7 for adult tickets and £5 for concessions (including over 60s, unwaged, in full-time education and the luck lucky bar stewards that are NUS cardholders). Entry is free for anyone aged 16-years or under, but under 12s will need to be accompanied by an adult, which will give the museum staff someone to talk to if any 7-year-olds try to throw any ancient spears or replace the crystal skull with a bag of sand from Barry Island.


The Museum will be open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, but the exhibition gallery will close at 4:45pm. It’s also open most Bank Holiday Mondays, but these will probably be some of the busiest days for the exhibition, so you might want to avoid them if you can. Entry will be at timed intervals, so you’ll be given a time slot in advance for your ticket, which means you probably shouldn’t just turn up and hope for the best (our usual tactic for all things in life).

Visit our what’s on in Cardiff guide for more events in the Welsh capital.

About the exhibition

Treasures: Adventures In Archaeology crystal skull and Corinthian helmet
Left: Crystal Skull. Photograph © Musée du Quai Branly, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrick Gries / Valérie Torre. Right: Corinthian Helmet, 750-650 BC

It all sounds very Indiana Jones with talk of globe trotting adventures and hidden treasure and while the reality of archaeology is much more time consuming and laborious than Harrison Ford’s exploits in the 80s, there’s still a lot of excitement in the objects that have been uncovered over the years. Treasures: Adventures In Archaeology will feature a significant collection of these objects, drawing out the story of their historic significance and the manner in which they were discovered.

However, to breath even more magic into it and to tie in with the popular vision of archaeology, the exhibition will also include a number of significant items from related popular culture to highlight the impact that archaeological discoveries have had on film, television and literature. This will include features on everything from Tintin and Indiana Jones to the works of H. Rider Haggard and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The list of items that will feature in the exhibition includes a real life eighteenth century crystal skull, as well as the one from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, thanks to Lucas Museum of Narrative Art; along with a very cool Corinthian helmet from around 750-650 BC, Inca gold, Roman treasure, human skulls from Viking-age burials in Anglesey and some slow crusted Egyptian mummies. The skull from the film will also be added to by Indie’s hat, whip and jacket, so film fans will have more than enough to keep them happy.


For anyone that didn’t know, apparently, 2016 is The Year of Adventure in Wales and the exhibition is a part of the thrill seeking festivities. It’s a part of Visit Wales’ bid to ramp up the recognition for Wales’ wild side and thanks to the likes of the whip cracking archaeologist, bequiffed cartoon travel legend and a certain duo at 221B Bakers Street, historic finds and their discovery has become a very exciting prospect.

Treasures: Adventured In Archaeology events

In addition to the main Treasures: Adventured In Archaeology exhibition, there will also the following series of events to accompany everything that will be on display:

  • So you want to be an archaeologist? on the 30th January 2016
  • Lunchtime talk Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology on the 10th February 2016 and again on the 17th February 2016
  • Treasures and Adventures family workshops between the 16th and the 19th February 2016 and between the 29th March and the 1st April 2016
  • Murder Mystery at the Museum on the 18th March 2016

You can also visit our what’s on in Cardiff events guide for more from the Welsh capital.

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