In 1872, the Patriotic Museum was founded in Dubrovnik; in the middle of 1873, the first museum display was made in the commune building. Among the exhibits, which were mainly from the period of the Dubrovnik Republic, the archaeological objects nevertheless stood out, for example, an Egyptian mummy, Greek vases and ancient amphorae.
The donors were collectors, leading members of patrician families, sailors and Dubrovnik people living elsewhere. Foremost among them were the great benefactors and donors the Amerling brothers, who had been passionate advocates of the museum’s founding; they gave most of the Egyptian, Oriental and Japanese objects, birds, minerals and rarities of all kinds. In 1882, Arthur Evans, world-renowned archaeologist and initiator of archaeological research in the Dubrovnik area, gifted to the museum three Roman funerary inscriptions from Cavtat, the first entries into the book of donated and purchased objects.
At the time the science of archaeology was being founded in Croatia in the early 20th century, lovers of antiquities gathered around the Dubrovnik branch of the Croatian Antiquarian Society in Knin and the Braće Hrvatskog Zmaja started to investigate the ruined Church of St Stephen, and after that it served as a temporary lapidarium for pre-Romanesque sculpture. https://www.godubrovnik.guide/dubrovnikthingstodo/archaeological-museum/