Sunday, 19 May 2013

I'm a culture vulture!

Something a little different  - mainly because the picture's I took today need some work. I don't normally Photoshop the images on here but there are a couple that cry out for a bit of "tweaking" and I'm too tired. So these are a selection of pictures I took on Saturday at the famous Ashmolean museum in Oxford at the start of a few days away.

It's been years since I visited Oxford. It's a bit too far away really for a day trip and too close to want to spend the money on an overnight stay but this was a planned weekend away with some friends in the Cotswolds so we had some time to kill.

There is no real theme to these- these were just some images of items within the museum that I particularly liked.

A corner finial on a sarcophagus in the form of the falcon, representing of course Horus. All four corners had him sitting guard.

These were quite amazing.  Recovered from a tomb in Abydos, these models were intended to provide for the pharaoh in the afterlife.  All the detail of baking, brewing and even slaughtering is here.

More than anything I've seen before this really brought to life the day to day routine of the ordinary ancient Egyptian.

And more on the same theme.

Moving further back in time, some casts of skulls of early humanoids.

An iron age cauldron - love how it's been mended with an iron strip riveted to the side where the iron has worn thin with use.

And of similar age, a raven's head.

This was my first visit to the Ashmolean and I will certainly want to go back. I find a lot of the staging in modern museums frustrating. The emphasis seems to be on presentation rather than the objects themselves so sometimes there seems to be very little content to actually see. The Ashmolean seems to have struck a better balance.  Plenty of exhibits, all clearly numbered and referenced with the descriptions but the presentation still feels fresh and modern.

A great day out - and if you are looking for lunch I can highly recommend that dining room at the top of the museum. Not cheap but the food is out of this world.

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