The Gallo-Roman collection contains objects found at sites throughout the territory covered by Belgium, as well as a number from sites in neighbouring territories. The collection is subdivided into four main sections. The large scale model of a section of a burial field gives a good idea of the organization of the most simple among the graves.
The numismatic collection begins with the Celtic coin hoard from Thuin, consisting of gold pieces buried during the Roman conquest of Gaul. A selection of various Roman coin hoards and forgers’ dies beautifully illustrate the evolution and instability of the monetary system introduced into these regions by the Romans.
Funerary monuments and tumuli
On display in the second gallery are sculpted grave monuments from Buzenol and Bavay, as will as rich funerary gifts from tumuli in Haspengauw in Limburg. These barrow graves have yielded veritable masterpieces, all produced by craftsmen of the time. Because the objects were buried in the burial chambers, they are in a good state of preservation. Even the extremely fine glassware and exquisitely decorated metal tableware have comfortably withstood the ravages of time.
The various themes of daily life and the techniques employed during the Gallo-Roman period are set out here on a didactic basis. The themes draw their inspiration from objects from the collection and are elucidated with the help of finely illustrated text panels. The themes themselves are: transport by land and water, waggons and harness, clothing and adornment, trade, the craft of the potter, glass-blowing, tableware and metal utensils, agricultural activities and building materials. The tour of the gallery ends with the reconstruction of a fragment of the façade of a villa with a portico; this gives on to the area containing antique household articles and a doorpost, as well as reconstructions of furniture, of a wall painting and of the ‘hypocaust’ system of heating.