Heidelberg University houses a number of top-class collections of high scientific value. Some of them have recently been consolidated at the HCCH. These include the Collection of Casts and Classical Antiquities (supervised by the Institute for Classical Archaeology), the Egyptian Collection (supervised by the Institute for Egyptology), the Uruk Warka Collection (on permanent loan from the German Archaeological Institute and supervised by the Institute for Assyriology) and the Numismatic Collection (supervised by the Department of Ancient History and Epigraphy). Together, these collections contain numerous artefacts from very different cultures, regions and epochs from the earliest writing in Mesopotamia and Egypt, to advanced Mediterranean civilizations and as far as late Christian Antiquity.
The fact that these Studies of the Ancient World collections are so interconnected strengthens the teaching potential of the participating subjects as well as the practical training of students using original objects. The diversity of the artefacts in the collections reflects an important part of the cultural heritage of early advanced civilizations. The collections of the institutional members are an excellent complement to them.
The collections play a central role in the courses offered by the new Cultural Heritage and Cultural Property Protection MA programme. In addition to the study of sources, the courses also cover the correct handling of various types of objects and materials, the basics of collection management and the presentation and communication of cultural heritage in public spaces.
The collections are therefore of central importance not only for research and teaching; they also act as an interface between the university and the public. With their knowledge of the history, origin and use of ancient artefacts, the scholars in charge of the collections can help to convey an understanding of the idea of cultural heritage and its position in today's world.