The archaeology collection of the National Museum of Lithuania is one of the oldest and richest in the museum and the largest in Lithuania. It contains more than 600 thousand archaeological finds dating from the 11th millennium B.C. to the 19th century. The collection consists of separate groups of exhibits distinguished according to periods and themes.
The earliest archaeological exhibits reached the museum from the collections of various benefactors of the Museum of Antiquities, as well as from scientific or amateur excavations conducted in the 19th and early 20th century. Since the post-war years the archaeology collection is constantly supplemented with finds from excavations that are being conducted each year in Lithuania by various institutions and groups of researchers, as well as the museum’s archaeologists.
With the change in the understanding of the object of archaeological heritage, the Department of Mediaeval and Early Modern Archaeology was established under the Archaeology Department.
On the basis of the archaeology collection, a large archaeological exhibition reflecting the prehistory of Lithuania from the earliest times until the 13th century, i.e. the formation of the Lithuanian state, was opened at the National Museum of Lithuania in 2000. The exhibitions of the history of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the museum’s historical exhibition have been supplemented with archaeological exhibits. The rich collections allow the museum to hold specialised exhibitions both in the museum itself and abroad. Scientific catalogues of exhibits have been published. The academic and scientific communities are active users of the studies of the archaeology collection.