Artifact Investigation

I love those artefact conservation posts! Here is one from Carrie at the Kelsey about a bowl from Karanis covered with some mysterious white stuff. (And I love a good detective story as well!)

Kelsey Museum

CAROLINE ROBERTS, Conservator, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

I love a good mystery, and nothing (save a really good crime novel) is better than an artifact mystery. I love the thrill of investigating an object, identifying its agents of deterioration, and nabbing those culprits one by one. I also really enjoy teaching new conservators how to use investigative tools to make their own observations. I recently spent a day looking at an object with Ellen Seidell, a U of M junior who is interning in our lab. The ceramic bowl – excavated at Karanis in 1929 – was covered with feathery white crystals, as well as a drippy, peeling surface coating. I had my suspicions as to what these were, but wanted Ellen to learn for herself how to identify unknown materials.

To do this, we examined the bowl under longwave ultraviolet light. This is a useful tool not only for…

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Things you didn’t know about the British Museum

I found today this fun post on the British Museum blog that contains interesting facts most people don’t know about the BM.  Did you know that the most searched-for thing on their website is ‘Egypt’? Or that the 1972 exhibition of Tutankhamun’s treasure was the most popular. Ever?  Those didn’t surprise me at all and I knew of some other facts mentioned in the listicle; however, there were some cool things I wasn’t aware of…

Take a look here: 29 Things you (probably) didn’t know about the British Museum.

Millennial Court at the British Museum during my 2003 visit.

Millennial Court at the British Museum during my 2003 visit.

 

 

An Open Letter to Ancient People

Found this post very amusing. It’s  An Open Letter to Ancient People from Conservator Suzanne Davis at the Kelsey. Love it! There are many times when archaeologists, conservators and other scholars would like to speak to ancient people…

SUZANNE DAVIS, Curator of Conservation Dear Ancient People, I am writing this letter in response to my recent work on your textiles for the upcoming Kelsey Museum exhibit Less Than Perfect. I am writing this letter because I love you. I do. Please believe that. Your textiles are lovely. Super beautiful. But they are […]

via An Open Letter to Ancient People — Kelsey Museum

Experiential Mummification #1

Very cool post about experimental mummification… Thanks, Campbell, for sharing!

Animal Mummy Lab

As part of our research for The Leverhulme Trust, the BioBank Team have mummified several bird cadavers using experiential methods seen in the ancient mummies (Fig. 1) (kindly provided by the Natural History Museum Bird group, Tring and productive household pet hunting activity). The use of simple observation and clinical imaging were used to monitor smell, weight loss and temperature/humidity, level of desiccation and preservation, and difficulty in the mummification technique; all of which particularly relate to EM1 and EM10.

Experimental Mummies Figure 1: Wrapped Experimental Animal Mummies

Our experiences with clinical imaging have shown that they can be limited when it comes to collating zooarchaeological data (species identification, Minimum Number of Individuals, age and sex) from animal mummies that contain something other than a single, complete individual. To assess this difficulty, the NHM, Tring donated 6 bags of bird remains for mummification; the caveat being that they did not tell us how many or what species were present…

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Behind the Scenes: The Repatriation of Stolen Objects | American Research Center in Egypt

Have  you ever heard of Operation Mummy’s Curse?  Find out all about it in this interesting short article on the American Research Center in Egypt website.

Source: Behind the Scenes: The Repatriation of Stolen Objects | American Research Center in Egypt

Installing Oplontis

My spring is already crazy, but I hope to have time to go see this exhibition….  I got the invitation in the mail a little while ago.

Kelsey Museum

BY CAROLINE ROBERTS, Conservator, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

For the past four weeks it has been all hands on deck at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. Indeed, it has taken the entire Kelsey village – curators, registrars, conservators, educators, and exhibit coordinators – to bring Oplontis to life.

The first step in installing Oplontis was to receive the objects. Over 30 crates of artifacts arrived from Italy nearly five weeks ago. Kelsey collections managers were at the Museum (very) early in the morning to oversee the movement of the crates from truck to loading dock to gallery. The crates were allowed to adjust to the climate of the Kelsey galleries for about a day before being opened.

Oplontis 3 The Nike sculpture travels from the first to the second floor galleries

Our next step was to unpack and install the artifacts. We did this with the help of two couriers, Giuseppe…

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David Bowie: The Pharaoh of Music

I sadly learned of David Bowie’s passing while I was at the gym a little while ago.  With his absolutely amazing voice, Bowie is a god of modern music.  I say god because that’s what a pharaoh becomes when he dies…

Bowie-pharaoh

David Bowie as Pharaoh (photo from a post on the WordPress website of Olivia Macarte: https://oliviamacarte.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/bowie-plath/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RIP David Bowie (1947-2016)