The Prehistoric and Early Historic Teaching Collection of the Institute of Ancient Studies includes paleolithic stone tools, copies of prehistoric and early historic objects (in particular ceramics), finds from the Mediterranean region, Roman material from Mainz (on loan) and early modern pottery waste. The total number of objects is in the five-digit range.
The collection was founded in the early post-war years with purchases from the collection of Lower Saxony historian Heinrich Spanuth (1873-1958). The basis of the collection consists primarily of copies of clay vessels through all periods of German prehistory and early history, although the Roman era is left out. In 1954, a large number of paleolithic stone artifacts from France were purchased from a private Bad Pyrmonter collection. Between 1955 and the 1960s, various donations from students, colleagues and private individuals, but also from the Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn, for example, expanded the teaching collection to include objects from the surrounding region. In 1962, for example, numerous faulty fires from the early modern Siegburg potteries were added to the collection and in 1964 a Roman brick stamp from Echzell and Middle Paleolithic finds from near Wiesbaden were added.
There is also a large amount of objects with unusual origins: In the years from 1961 to 1971, field trips, particularly in Italy, brought together a large number of stray finds that are useful for teaching precisely because of their inconspicuous nature. Most recently in the 1990s, around 1,000 objects from the Roman city of Mainz were added to the teaching collection on permanent loan from the Mainz Archaeological Heritage Preservation.
Objects from the teaching collection are repeatedly used as illustrative material in courses (identification and documentation exercises). In addition, despite their sometimes insufficiently documented origin, they also have a scientific value in their own right — further study, for example as part of final theses, is therefore foreseen. The diverse history of the collection ultimately also includes interesting aspects of research history.
Due to lack of space, the collection is currently not on display, but is stored in a storage room.