Provenance research into the archaeological collections

The Allard Pierson is conducting research into the provenance history of the archaeological collections over the period 2023-2027. There is little or no information on the provenance of many of these approximately 19,000 artefacts. The Allard Pierson intends to investigate these gaps, gather as much information on the items as possible and make it available to the public. The Allard Pierson takes responsibility for combatting the illegal trade in and violence against objects from antiquity and intends to participate in the societal debate on heritage ownership. The Allard Pierson has recently received requests for the return of a number of archaeological artefacts, and these will form part of the broader investigation. These are the reasons for launching a provenance research project. Provenance research yields greater insight into the history of an artefact’s owners after it has been taken out of its original context.

What does the Allard Pierson understand by provenance research?

What are the legal and ethical frameworks that the Allard Pierson makes use of?

The archaeological collections of the Allard Pierson

Why is the Allard Pierson launching this project now?

How does the Allard Pierson look to the future?


If you have any questions, comments or feedback on the Allard Pierson’s provenance research, please contact one of the project staff.

Rogier Kalkers (head of provenance research,, René van Beek (Roman World, Etruscans and Plaster Casts collections curator:, Laurien de Gelder (Greek World and Ancient Middle East collections curator: and Ben van den Bercken (Ancient Egypt and Sudan collections curator: