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Curator Greek and Roman antiquities

Professor Ruurd B. Halbertsma
tel: +31 (0)71 516 3154
e-mail: r.halbertsma@rmo.nl

Educational background and special fields of interest

Ruurd Halbertsma (b. 1958) studied Classical Languages, Ancient History, and Classical Archaeology at the University of Leiden. He performed fieldwork in Italy and led excursions to Greece, Turkey, Italy and Tunisia. As a student he had become interested in the history of archaeological collecting in Europe and the Netherlands’ specific role in it. This interest culminated in a PhD thesis on the origin of the 19th-century collections of Punic, Etruscan, and Egyptian art in the Netherlands: ‘Le solitaire des ruines: the archaeological journeys of Jean Emile Humbert (1771–1839) in the service of the Kingdom of the Netherlands’ (Leiden, 1995). He has published articles and monographs, and has lectured on topics in his field of interest at universities in Copenhagen and Paris, as well as at the American universities of Yale and Harvard.

Endowed professor

In addition to his position as curator, Halbertsma is attached to the Faculty of Archaeology of Leiden University as a professor of museology and the history of archaeology. In 2010 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Refurbishment of the permanent exhibition

In 2014 and 2015 Halbertsma took on the refurbishment of the permanent exhibition The Classical World at the National Museum of Antiquities. This redevelopment took as its point of departure the notion of ‘Greeks in context’ – the interaction, influence and inspiration between Greek culture and the surrounding civilisations in the Mediterranean region. The refurbished rooms were opened to the public towards the end of 2015.

Areas of expertise

Key research projects

The 19th century as the cradle of modern archaeology: the history of Dutch archaeology is largely the history of the National Museum of Antiquities for the entire 19th century. An attempt is made to present an overview of the most significant developments in this period that led to the accumulation of large archaeological collections and that generated ideas concerning the ideal way in which to display collections relating to antiquity.

Ruurd Halbertsma

Representative publications

Representative exhibitions

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