This summary catalogue is a comprehensive guide to The Ashmolean's archaeological collection. The inventory includes works from the Roman Iron Age, Migration Period, and Early Medieval eras. The introduction of the Collection examines the foundation and development of the inventory, complete with notes on benefactors and former owners, including Sir John Evans. This catalogue presents an opportunity to share many pieces, never before published, in the correct categories, such as a small number of 'barbarian finds' including Roman Iron Age and Viking Age artefacts. The collection has distinct historical importance and every effort has been made to give the reader an opportunity to place these artefacts in a wider archaeological context. The aim is merely to render the material accessible, so that the components of this historic collection can continue to play a valuable role in contemporary archaeological discourse. The catalogue inventory is divided by region including: Scandinavia, Germany, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Central and Southern Europe, and Ukraine. A corresponding map, locating areas where the excavations took place, accompanies each section.
The items are displayed in detailed black and white imagery with extensive descriptions based on the artefact's visual characteristics. The catalogue contains a typological index and extensive bibliography to further aid a study of the collection.