Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt
Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte
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History of the State Museum


03.10.1819:

Foundation of the 'Thüringisch-Sächsischer Verein für Erforschung des vaterländischen Alterthums und Erhaltung seiner Denkmale' (Thuringian-Saxon Club for Research into the Fatherland's Ancient History and the Preservation of its Monuments), based in Naumburg.

16.06.1823:

The 'Thüringisch-Sächsischer Verein' relocates to Halle; in 1825 the collections are installed in 'the old princely reception room' of the Neue Residenz palace.

January 1876:

The 'Thüringisch-Sächsischer Verein' asks the Provincial Parliament for suitable premises for the collection.

18.11.1876:

The Second Parliament votes to found the 'Historical Commission of the Province of Saxony', which is to take part in the creation of a Provincial Museum.

March 1882:

The Parliament grants the funds to set up a Provincial Museum.

16.07.1884:

The curator and retired colonel Hans von Borries is named first Director of the Provincial Museum.

21.04.1886:

The 'Historical Commission' passes a motion that suitable persons be employed as conservators to support the museum. This is the beginning of the official archaeological conservation service in the Province of Saxony.

01.07.1890:

Dr. Julius Schmidt is appointed Director of the Museum.

1902:

The first volume of the 'Jahresschrift für die Vorgeschichte der sächsisch-thüringischen Länder' (Annual for the Prehistory of the Saxon-Thuringian Lands) is published.

13.06.1906:

The first plans for a new museum building are drawn up by the Director Reuß and the State Planner Ruprecht.

1908:

Consultation in the State Parliament about the site at Wettiner Platz offered at no cost by the City of Halle for the construction of a museum.

14.03.1910:

The State Parliament grants 525,000 Reichsmarks for the construction of the museum. The scope of the institution is limited to prehistory.

1911-1913:

Construction of Germany's first purpose-built museum of prehistory.

01.08.1912:

The first person to qualify as a prehistorian, Dr. Hans Hahne, is named Director of the Museum.

From 1913:

Inventarisation of the archaeological collection by year with continuous main catalogue numbers.

26.03.1914:

The Prussian Excavation Law is passed.

09.10.1918:

Opening of the museum building with the re-designed permanent exhibition.

1921:

The Provincial Museum is re-named the 'State Institute of Prehistory'; foundation of the 'Museum Federation of the Province of Saxony'.

1925:

After a 14 year interruption, the publication of the 'Jahresschrift für die Vorgeschichte der sächsisch-thüringischen Länder' is continued with vol. 11.

13.06.1928:

By order of the Prussian Finance Minister, archaeological discoveries are declared state property.

09.05.1929:

Foundation of the 'Mitteldeutscher Verband für Altertumsforschung' (Antiquarian Research Confederation of Central Germany) in Quedlinburg.

1932:

Creation of an open-air exhibit in the museum garden.

1934:

The museum is renamed the 'State Institute of Folk Studies' (Landesanstalt für Volkheitskunde).

1935:

Museum publications are given the title 'Veröffentlichungen der Landesanstalt für Volkheitskunde' (Publications of the State Institute of Folk Studies).

01.06.1935:

Prof. Dr. Walter Schulz is named Director of the Museum. In 1945 he relinquishes all duties.

20.04.1945:

Resumption of activities at the museum. The collection, archive and library survived the war with no losses.

03.03.1946:

The permanent exhibition is re-opened.

14.11.1949:

The State Government passes an act on obligatory reporting of prehistoric and ancient archaeological finds and regulations of excavations.

1950:

The State Museum is placed under the authority of the Secretary for University Affairs of the German Democratic Republic (GDR), which later becomes the Ministry of Higher Education.

1955:

First display of a mammoth skeleton in the permanent exhibition.

01.01.1959:

Dr. Hermann Behrens is named Director of the Museum. He leads the institution until 31.12.1980.

1970:

For the first time, four stamps are published in the GDR with archaeological motifs from the collection of the State Museum of Prehistory.

03.07.1980:

The Law to Protect Cultural Heritage comes into force in the GDR.

01.01.1981:

Dr. Dieter Kaufmann is appointed Director of the Museum and leads the institution until 31.03.1992.

30.06.1983:

The premises of the State Museum of Prehistory are declared a protected historic monument.

19.09.1984:

The number of visitors to the permanent exhibition reaches 1,000,000.

1990:

After the Ministry of Higher Education of the GDR is dissolved, the State Museum is placed under the authority of the newly created Ministry of Education and Science.

01.01.1991:

The State Museum is placed under the authority of the Ministry of Education, Science and Cultural Affairs, from Summer 1991 under that of the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs.

15.06.1991:

Foundation of the 'Archäologische Gesellschaft Sachsen-Anhalt e.V.' (Archaeological Society of Saxony-Anhalt) in Halle.

13.09.1991:

The State of Saxony-Anhalt's Law on the Protection of Historic Monuments is adopted by the State Parliament.

21.10.1991:

Decision of the State Government to create a 'State Office for the Conservation of Historic Monuments' and a 'State Office for the Conservation of Archaeological Monuments (formerly State Museum)'.

01.04.1992:

Dr. habil. Siegfried Fröhlich is named State Archaeologist; he remains in office until 31.12. 2000.

13.06.1994:

Closure of the permanent exhibition.

08.04.1997:

The museum is re-named as 'State Office for Archaeology - State Museum of Prehistory - Saxony-Anhalt' by decision of the State Government.

01.03.2001:

Dr. Harald Meller is appointed State Archaeologist and Director of the State Museum.

17.04.2003:

The permanent exhibition is once again open to the public, with sections newly arranged.

23.05.2008:

Re-opening of the museum after extensive renovations, with a new permanent exhibition on the palaeolithic, mesolithic and neolithic periods and on the early bronze age.