Long time no see

The past few months have been pretty chaotic—I’ve done a lot of traveling, had many deadlines, and have made some major research breakthroughs. All throughout that, I’ve thought–hey, put it on your blog! But, I haven’t.

So, for the next few weeks I will be reading back through notes I’ve taken on my phone, photos I’ve taken, and books I’ve read to report back on some of the more interesting Museum Archaeology stories I’ve come across.

Hopefully, it won’t be another 3 months before it actually happens.

Stay tuned!

New Zeugma Mosaic Museum Website

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably interested in museums and archaeology. Well, today the Zeugma Mosaic Museum–one of the largest collections of mosaics (and other artifacts)–officially has a new website where you can explore the history of the site, take a 3D tour of the museum, and explore the collection!.

You can visit it here: http://www.zeugma.org.tr

I’m planning on taking advantage of the site to research few pieces about which I haven’t yet been able to find information. However, I’m also super excited to just take a tour around the site to learn all there is to learn.

 

 

4 Non-Threatening Archaeology Topics to Discuss at Thanksgiving

Today, for many American-type people, is a very special day. A time to give thanks and spend time with loved ones. However, many people are currently worried about spending thanksgiving with members of their family who may have different political choices earlier this month (i.e. voted for Trump). This is such a concern that many people are choosing not to attend their family’s thanksgiving, opting instead for a less traditional “friendsgiving.” Or, like this parody advertisement, they are planning to take regular breaks.

To avoid more sensitive topics, why not add some archaeological discussion to the meal! Here are 5 archaeological(ly related) topics to discuss with your friends and family this holiday.

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Some Thoughts On the Term “Fake”

A previous post of mine used the term “fake” in the title. It seems to me that this is a good opening to segue into a discussion about the terminology with which we discuss dodgy objects. This is currently a challenge for me in my research, since not all objects with secondary or tertiary histories (like the sculpture in the previous post) can or should be considered “fake.” In fact, I find that the term “fake” is problematic because it, like “forgery,” brings negative connotations associated with purposeful deception, and not all cases fall under this category.

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Plaster Casts and Damaged Objects

Last week, I told a colleague that I was going to Berlin for research purposes and asked her what else I should see while I’m there. She had excellent recommendations for museums and historic sites to visit, while also noting that (and I paraphrase), “except for the archaeology museums, it’s hard to avoid confronting the darker parts of history while in Berlin.”

In contrast to her statement, even within the archaeology  and art museums there was a confrontation with Berlin’s history as a city, particularly with regards to WWII. In this post, I want to highlight some of the displays that I thought were a particularly compelling; focusing on displays that deal with missing/damaged objects.

Clarification: these displays are not about archaeological objects, but rather later sculptural pieces. However, I think that these examples are important to consider for an archaeologist (or art historian) because it does deal with the secondary and after lives of objects.

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Real? Fake? and “Dangerous Perfection” at the Altes Museum, Berlin

This week, I hopped on a train to Berlin to see some of the pieces that I have been studying. I think it’s always helpful to see pieces in person (if possible), and I always find museums inspiring–you never know what you’re going to discover that could help your research.

One of my pet interests is theory and authenticity. In other words, I enjoy researching and thinking about ancient and modern forgery.  I wasn’t expecting to spend time thinking about this on my trip to Berlin, but, as suggested above, you never know what you’ll find in a museum that will inspire you.

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Stuff Obsessed

If for some reason you are not familiar with ArchaeoSoup, check out their website. In short, they are a team that works to increase awareness of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage.  One of their regular features is the “Questions of Doom” videos, in which Marc Barkman-Astles tackles questions that viewers submit.

This video is one of my favorites.  In this video, Marc tackles the question of whether there is a difference between  Antiquarians and Archaeologists.

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Research Methods (A Defense of Pinterest)

As I suggested in my first post, a lot of my research is simply scouring the internet –including a heathy amount of google image searching.

As a fairly disorganized research person, gathering information this way can be challenging. Where did that picture come from? How can I save the image and the source easily without creating a whole database from scratch? Is there a convenient place to keep pieces that aren’t part of my dataset, but are still interesting?

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