TOK @ Christ’s Hospital

" The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates



Indigenous Knowledge Systems


The Pitt Rivers Museum



The Pitt Rivers Museum displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world and all time periods. It is truly a global museum. The museum is also a teaching and research institution and the curators are also university lecturers in either cultural anthropology or prehistoric archaeology. A number of degree courses are taught to both graduate and undergraduate studies.

The museum was founded in 1884 when General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University of Oxford.

There were more than 26,000 objects in 1884, but now there are over half a million in the museum. Many were donated by early anthropologists and explorers. The collection includes extensive photographic, film, manuscript and sound collections.

The museum has always been housed in a small three galleried building at the rear of the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (to which, at the beginning, it was formally attached).

Since the founding collection moved to Oxford there have been many curatorial staff working in the museum including Henry Balfour, Beatrice Blackwood, and many others.

Today the museum is a dynamic, forward-looking institution with many connections to source communities throughout the world (see, for example, the recent projects with the Haida People of Canada).