A CREWS-themed display at the Fitzwilliam Museum: installation day

For anyone who enjoyed the Codebreakers and Groundbreakers exhibition – or who’s still planning to go see it – here’s another ancient writing display at the Fitzwilliam Museum!

We have been dying to tell you all about a new display at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, focusing on some of the writing systems we are working on in the CREWS project. It started today (Tuesday 16th January) and will run until Sunday 10th June, which gives you plenty of time to come and see it! Here is the Fitzwilliam’s web page on the display: Writing in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.

The objects in the display are written in a number of different ancient writing systems, with Egyptian Hieroglyphic and Demotic, Babylonian and Ugaritic cuneiform, Cretan Hieroglyphic, Linear A, Cypro-Minoan, the Cypriot Syllabary, Phoenician and the Greek alphabet.

display

View original post 844 more words

Advertisements

Codebreakers and Groundbreakers

Capture

I mentioned this upcoming exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in my last post – I’m very pleased to say that ‘Codebreakers and Groundbreakers‘ is now open (and on until February 2018)! The exhibition brings together two apparently quite different stories – the discovery and decipherment of the Linear B tablets and the breaking of the Enigma codes at Bletchley Park during World War II – to emphasize the two main threads which connect them. Most obviously, both of them are about decipherment and making unreadable texts readable – whether that’s three-thousand-year-old clay tablets written in an undeciphered script and an unknown language, or messages that have been deliberately encrypted to (try to) stop them being read by a wartime enemy.

Continue reading “Codebreakers and Groundbreakers”

Start of term news: board games, exhibitions, and playing with clay!

It’s the beginning of term here in Cambridge, so time for meeting new students, organising teaching for the term, and generally filling up the diary. It also seems like a good time to share various upcoming events that Cambridge-based readers may be interested in, plus a piece of board-game-related news!

P1090109copy
Me writing a cuneiform tablet.

On October 21st, the Cambridge Archaeological Unit is hosting a ‘Prehistory and Archaeology Day’ (10.30-4pm, 34 Storey’s Way). There’ll be plenty of different activities to try out, from rock-art-painting to pottery-making – and of course, there’ll be several researchers from Classics and Archaeology there to teach people to write on clay in ancient scripts like Linear B, cuneiform, and Egyptian hieroglyphs! The event is free and there’s no need to book, just drop in — more information here. Continue reading “Start of term news: board games, exhibitions, and playing with clay!”

My Museum Favourite: The Siege of Troy

In this week’s Museum Favourite, Anna Judson ventures outside the Faculty to see a pair of paintings in the Fitzwilliam Museum.

In the Fitzwilliam’s medieval-Renaissance Italian art gallery you can find these two paintings depicting episodes from the Siege of Troy: the Death of Hector and the Wooden Horse.

The Death of Hector (Fitzwilliam Museum M.44)
The Death of Hector (Fitzwilliam Museum M.44)
The Wooden Horse (Fitzwilliam Museum M.45)
The Wooden Horse (Fitzwilliam Museum M.45)

Continue reading “My Museum Favourite: The Siege of Troy”

The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China

The Search for Immortality — Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum’s current exhibition showcases the treasures found in the royal tombs of the Han Dynasty, rulers of a vast empire encompassing much of what is now modern China, from the 2nd-1st century B.C. (i.e. contemporary with the late Roman Republic).* The Han emperors and kings were buried in tomb complexes containing everything they might need in the afterlife, from food supplies and cooking facilities to tomb guardians and vast quantities of jade, believed to offer protection from evil spirits after death. Continue reading “The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China”