The museum’s extremely varied collection includes eight objects that evoke ancient Egypt, ranging from the times of the Pharaohs to the Christian Egypt of the Coptic period. Three of the Egyptian pieces were presented by Sam Levy, whose collection of Egyptian antiquities was the subject of a profound study that resulted in a subsequent publication. Although one of the pieces is marked as originating from Greece, it would seem to be an Egyptian terracotta figurine from the late Graeco-Roman period and representing Eros-Horus-the-child.
These eight Egyptian pieces are also joined by other collections of this kind existing in Portugal: the Egyptian collections from the Solar Condes de Resende – Casa Municipal de Cultura de Vila Nova de Gaia (with 20 objects), Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis, Porto (eight objects), Museu do Paço Ducal de Vila Viçosa (eight objects), Museu Condes de Castro Guimarães, Cascais (six objects) and, already at quite some distance, the Museu da Farmácia, in Lisbon (with roughly 80 objects). We should also add to these groups of pieces some private collections of Egyptian antiquities: the collections of Sam Levy (with 28 objects), Assis Ferreira (18), Fernando Freitas Simões (20), Luís Teixeira da Mota (six) and Miguel Barbosa (47).
The archaeology collection of the Museu do Caramulo consists of a small group of pieces, made of ceramics, glass and noble metals, which, despite their limited number, are of significant importance.
Covering a wide range of chronological periods, the highlights are the Egyptian and Roman collections, as well as an extremely rare example of Attic ceramic work from Classical Greece.
The cause of this heterogeneity is undoubtedly the great diversity of origins of all the exhibits. It is thanks to the museum’s extremely large number of donators that this excellent collection of archaeological pieces was put together, creating the opportunity for all the visitors to have access to the culture of our most direct ancestors.
Perfume bottles, jewellery (earrings, necklaces and bracelets), bone needles, ex-votos made of terracotta, tiles, prehistoric objects and a considerable collection of lamps, as well as other vessels, reveal the great wealth and variety of this group of pieces, which can be considered to be on a par with the most important Portuguese and foreign collections of archaeological pieces.
To conclude our introduction to this small archaeology collection, belonging to a museum with so many other valuable artistic treasures, we quote the words of Richard Wagner, which so clearly illustrate the modus operandi of the Museu do Caramulo: “All art has the same aim, but yet it manifests itself in countless forms.”