Monday, 30 May 2016

A Visit to the Store, the Museum's own 'Pottery Barn'

Sian and I recently visited the Museum's off-site store to identify objects for the new world archaeology displays. We had a longlist of interesting objects to search for since the run of cases will most likely be displayed by type of material, rather than by chronology or geography to maintain the Museum's typological approach to arrangements.

We started looking for pottery objects first as most of our pottery reserve collections are in the store, which will soon be undergoing a major move.

Retrieving boxes of archaeology from the Museum store
© Pitt Rivers Museum

'Angel Inn' mug, 1887.1.409
© Pitt Rivers Museum
The Museum's pottery collections (objects made from fired clay) include Egyptian faience ushabti figures, pottery tiles from India, Japanese wheel-turned stoneware, and – from closer to home – a glazed beer tankard from the Angel Inn on Oxford's High Street, now the University of Oxford's Examination Schools (left). 

Below is a terracotta 'plank' figurine, one of four such figurines from the excavations of Dr Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) at Mycenae, Greece in the 1870s. It is thought to date to the Archaic period during the Iron Age (700-600 BC). You can read more about the Schliemann collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum here (Chapter 15.2.4).

Staff holding an Iron Age 'plank' figurine from Mycaene, Greece
'Plank' figurine, Mycenae, Greece PRM 1887.20.57 © Pitt Rivers Museum

The selected objects will be transported back to the Museum for inspection by the project team including Project Curator Helen Adams, Curator for Archaeology Prof Dan Hicks, and Interim Director and Curator for Americas Prof Laura Peers.

three trays of archaeological pottery
Packed 'bakers' trays ready for transporting © Pitt Rivers Museum

Madeleine Ding
VERVE Curatorial Assistant

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