30th Dynasty Canopic Jars

These exceptional canopic jars from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford belonged to Zenbastef'onkh, son of Harwoz and Nakhtubasteran. They date from the 30th dynasty (380-343 BC). Above is seen Imsety, the human-headed protector of the liver, and Hapi the baboon-headed protector of the lungs. Below is Duamutef, the jacket-headed protector of the stomach. Save

The Wrestler of the Antikythera Shipwreck

The Wrestler of the Antikythera Shipwreck

In the National Archaeological Museum in Athens you can find a special gallery for the finds from the Antikythera shipwreck, a boat carrying luxury goods from around 75–50 BC which was wrecked in a storm off the coast of Greece. It contained many statues, vessels, coins and of course, the famous 2000-year-old computer I've previously … Continue reading The Wrestler of the Antikythera Shipwreck

A pigeon that Charles Darwin bred to support his theory of evolution

Treasures of Natural History: Dodos, Darwin’s Pigeons and Neanderthal Skulls

At a recent trip to the Natural History Museum in London I visited their new gallery of treasurers from their collections, which as you'd imagine, are amazingly varied and cover everything from geology and dinosaurs to early human evolution and the animal kingdom. One of the most interesting specimens on display was a composite skeleton … Continue reading Treasures of Natural History: Dodos, Darwin’s Pigeons and Neanderthal Skulls

An Ancient Computer: The Antikythera Mechanism

The highlight of a recent trip to Athens was a visit to the National Museum of Archaeology. The museum had a special gallery for the finds from the Antikythera shipwreck, a boat carrying luxury goods from around 75–50 BC which was wrecked in a storm. It was discovered in 1900 by sponge divers. The highlight … Continue reading An Ancient Computer: The Antikythera Mechanism

Sculpture by Anna Gillespie

Sculpture by Anna Gillespie The Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Inside, and I've chosen this enigmatic sculpture made of masking tape from the museum stores of the Somerset Heritage Service. It was created by Anna Gillespie, a contemporary British figurative sculptor based in Bath. When I look at it, it makes me wondering whether … Continue reading Sculpture by Anna Gillespie

The Shapwick Hoard: Britain’s Largest Hoard of Roman Silver Denarii

Take a look at this rather attractive pile of coins; who doesn’t like a bit of treasure? It’s actually a photo of the Shapwick Hoard, a collection of 9,262 Roman silver denarii coins found at Shapwick on the Somerset Levels in 1998. Where was it found? The hoard was discovered by amateur metal detectorists in … Continue reading The Shapwick Hoard: Britain’s Largest Hoard of Roman Silver Denarii

Unlocking the Past: Hidden Museum Collections

In the real world I work in museums and travel across the county of Somerset visiting its many historic sites on a weekly basis (I’m pretty lucky to be getting paid to do something I love). One day a week I work at Yeovil’s best-kept secret, the amazing Community Heritage Access Centre (CHAC). Basically it’s … Continue reading Unlocking the Past: Hidden Museum Collections