The greatest civilizations of Mediterranean antiquity are represented at the Dobrée museum.
As early as the 19th century, members of the Nantes and Loire-Atlantique History and Archaeological Society started gathering Egyptian, Etruscan and Greek artifacts. Various donors have since completed this collection as well as deposits from national museums such as the Louvre.
Today, the department has about 2,000 artifacts in its possession. Most of the Egyptian relics come from the private collection of Frédéric Cailliaud (1787-1869), a world-traveler and mineralogist from Nantes. The Greek and Etruscan civilizations are mostly represented by ceramic artifacts with more than 200 vases that serve to illustrate the diversity of the techniques as well as the various decorations of the times! Most of these artifacts were found in tombs in the 19th century. These burial sites, renowned for the abundance of objects buried deep within, were particularly sought after by the first archaeologists.