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.

 

 

Perhaps a little more Egyptology than I thought…

I posted an addendum to yesterday’s post on La Vida Aegyptiaca. April was such a blur for me, I forgot to mention to very, very important Egyptological events!  Two photos below are evidence of a few more minutes of Egyptology…

 

S.O.S. SSEA and La Vida Aegyptiaca

Readers who have been following An Archaeologist’s Diary since its move to WordPress will know that I also blog for Canada’ Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (SSEA).  Some of these posts have been referred to on An Archaeologist’s Diary, click here to read them.

The revamping of the SSEA website back in 2006 meant that new things interesting to both Egyptophiles and Egyptologists could be featured online. I started my blog La Vida Aegyptiaca  after being asked by the then-President to share my Egyptological adventures and my professional or academic work with the SSEA members and the public at large. (This came out of my ‘Adventures of Caroline in Carolina’ emails I used to send family and friends after I moved to North Carolina. Clearly somebody was getting a kick out of those emails!)

Can you believe it’s been almost 10 years since the SSEA revamped its website and La Vida Aegyptiaca launched? That’s almost as old as the pyramids!  Okay, maybe not that old… but old enough for www.thessea.org/ to now experience technical difficulties. That is why the SSEA just launched an initiative to fund a brand new website, where La Vida Aegyptiaca will continue to reside along other cool things. I encourage all my readers, friends and family to help the SSEA with its endeavour by contributing to the website’s GoFundMe campaign.  I just contributed myself… I hope you will do the same!  

If we can save Nubian temples from the waters of Lake Nasser, we can do anything--including raising funds for a new SSEA website!

If we can save Nubian temples from the waters of Lake Nasser, we can do anything–including raising funds for a new SSEA website! Thank you in advance for your generous contribution. Please share with Egyptophiles around the world!

Fan mail for Fefi!

While he was on ‘vacation’ (and his ghost writer at conferences abroad–more on that later),  Fefi, the NCMA’s most noble and ancient blogger, received fan mail. An avid reader enquired about Fefi’s well-being and made voice offerings of bread and beer so that our favourite ancient scribe would have the energy to continue his hieroglyphic blog posts. (Seriously! I’m not kidding… the Museum received an email for Fefi and it was a brilliant missive. I loved it!)

A post–written by yours truly and made available a couple of days ago–adds to Fefi’s lessons on Egyptian hieroglyphs. You can read What’s in a Nickname? on Circa. It should keep you (and our avid reader) satisfied until Fefi resumes his blogging activities!

Mini interview with Fefi

Members of the NCMA receive e-mails about exhibitions, programs and events as well as notices about what’s going on with the collections and galleries via the Museum blog, Circa.  In the last couple of Circa-related e-mails, members have been introduced to staff bloggers, who answered a couple of questions so you can get to know them better. Guess who was featured this time around?  Our dear ancient Egyptian friend, nobleman and scribe, Fefi!

Below is a screen shot of the e-mail I received (I am a member of the museum). The links in the image are not functional, so I have included them at the bottom of this post.

Fefi, the NCMA's most ancient and noble blogger!

Fefi, the NCMA’s most ancient and noble blogger!

Here are the links mentioned in the mini bio, latest posts: Viper, Viper, Leaf, Nobleman and Name or Nickname? That is the question! Both of these have been featured on An Archaeologist’s Diary. Actually, all of Fefi’s work has been featured!

As for Fefi’s favourite work of art in the NCMA collection, you will find it here: A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms. Undoubtedly the meat stall reminds him of something like this (check out the NCMA painting and compare):

Pile of offerings with different cuts of meat (with leeks and bread) on a Middle Kingdom stela at the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City (the paint is probably modern).  I took this picture in 2009.

Pile of offerings with different cuts of meat (with leeks and bread) on a Middle Kingdom stela at the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City (the paint is probably modern). I took this picture back in 2009.