I’m exhausted. The last two weeks have been rather hectic, to say the least. There were several evenings when I didn’t get home until after 11pm… We’ve worked very hard on the classical marbles: we’ve examined the statues like we’ve never done before at the museum and used some weird equipment, too—it was great fun!
I’m too tired to go into details right now, so I thought I would share photos today and describe the various studies in later posts when I’m actually awake and coherent.
Is this thing set to stun? Yours truly with the XRF ‘gun.’
This is not a stolen Star Trek phaser, but a handheld XRF analyser. (It’s not set to stun.)
A flash, its battery pack and filters for ultraviolet fluorescence (on unit) and visible-induced fluorescence (blue filter on table) imaging. (Safety goggles are needed for UVF.)
The Iridium 192 housing unit used in gamma radiography. (The other device is a radiation metre.)
Yours truly holding a red LED spotlight during an infrared reflectography session.
Is this the sucker-mouth of a Mynock? Nope, it’s the LED ring light at the end of the microscope.
A quick post to show you what I have been doing today with Mark (the marble guy) and Elizabeth (the student working with him). We spent the day with Hercules down in the bowels of the museum, illuminated by ultraviolet lights. No pigments on him, but under UV you can also see repaired breaks and whatever might be present on the sculpture’s surface (organic material, shellac, etc…).
All this 80s ultraviolet and industrial stuff makes me want to watch Blade Runner!
Photographing Hercules in ambient light down in the bowels of the museum.
Photographing Hercules under ultraviolet light.
Yours truly (wearing protective UV goggles but NOT an acid-washed jean jacket!) adding the colour card to a UV shot.
Detail of Hercules’ left hand: the breaks (in dark purple) make it look like he’s wearing knuckle rings!
This week, I’m entirely focused on the Classical marbles in the NCMA’s collection and we’re doing some pretty cool stuff: we’re searching for colour on the marble sculptures! I’m working withMark Abbe, asst. prof. of ancient art at the University of Georgia, Athens—a specialist of marble statuary and ancient polychromy. I’ll keep details for later when I can actually show you photos of us in action when I post on Untitled, the NCMA blog; however, I want to let you know that I have a good excuse for being somewhat silent at present!
ROCHELEAU, C.M. Ancient Egyptian Art. North Carolina Museum of Art, 2012.
This one is for Ken O., who believes my systematic catalogue of the Egyptian collection–an outstanding publication, which he read from cover to cover (his words)–deserves as much attention on my blog as the publication of my doctoral dissertation (this catalogue is mentioned in the What is archaeology? chronicle, at the end, in the “collection and exhibition” blurb).
Today, I’m using Ancient Egyptian Art as an excuse to present (a tad earlier than anticipated) a page in the Photo Diary about the Egyptian collection under my care. If you take a look at ARCHÉOblogue, my French-language blog, you’ll see it was published there on May 26. What is posted there eventually ends up being posted here (and vice versa).
When I came home from work, there was a nice little surprise in my mailbox: a small but thick envelope from Krzys, my former thesis supervisor. I knew immediately what it was and grabbed my letter opener to open the letter quickly. Inside I found a lovely booklet—with colour pictures on glossy pages—about the archaeological site of Meroe(pronounced MAY-roe-ay) in Sudan. It is a visitors’ guide to the site, which is close enough to Khartoum to do as a day trip (tiring, but feasible). I worked at Meroe with Krzys during my graduate studies and the Great Amun Temple found there was part of my doctoral dissertation (which was on Amun temples in Nubia, published in 2008 by Archaeopress).
Should you have questions for the ‘Answered by an Archaeologist’ chronicle, you can now reach me at: archeologue.wordpress ( at ) gmail.com.
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After a walk in the Museum Park, lunch at my neighbourhood deli, a few errands and laps at the gym pool, I came home to find the latest Archaeology magazine in my mailbox. (It is published by the AIA.) I spent the second half of the afternoon lounging on my balcony reading it, enjoying the unusually pleasant summer weather.
I learned about excavations under Mexico City and the renewed research on the Gokstad ship burial first excavated more than a century ago (Norway). I caught up with the work of my colleague Josef Wegner (not Wenger, as misspelled in the article) at Abydos (Egypt). There were several other articles about archaeological research going on at various places around the world—all very interesting! It kept me happily occupied until dinner time.