Following Hadrian in Achaea

Originally posted on FOLLOWING HADRIAN:

In just a few hours I will be travelling to Greece in Hadrian’s footsteps, retracing the journey he undertook in the province of Achaea in 124-125 AD.

“Hardly any emperor ever traveled with such speed over so much territory” the Historia Augusta tells us. Surely Hadrian was the emperor who honored the provinces with his presence the most. Nicknamed ‘Graeculus’ or ‘the little Greek’, Hadrian held a fascination for Greek philosophy and culture. The foundation for Hadrian’s affection for Athens and Greek culture in general may well have been established during his childhood education. Prior to becoming Emperor he was archon of Athens in 112. Not surprisingly, as Emperor he turned his attention to the east. He visited Athens at least three times, Sparta and Eleusis twice, in 123-124 and again in 128-129. Many Greek cities would benefit greatly from the emperor’s patronage in the form of numerous building projects and…

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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


A Special Day Out

During the winter months there isn’t much to do here in Crete as most  Museums and  tourist shops are closed. Now spring is here everything comes to life and tourists begin to arrive. So John and I decided to go to the Archaeological Museum of Siteia where there is a renewed Exhibition. We were especially interested as John and I had helped with conservation of some of the vessels displayed in the museum, while at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete.

The Archaeological Museum of Siteia, like all the local museums of Greece constructed in the 1980′s employed an object-orientated display program. Over the years, the need for re-evaluating the exhibition was expressed. The idea matured into a necessity to upgrade the existing objectives of the exhibition, and to bring them into accordance with modern museological data. Thus, it became imperative to restructure and enrich the exhibition in order to a) highlight the many significant finds that have emerged from recent excavations in the areas of Siteia, and b) provide comprehensive to the visitor, creating both a pleasant museum experience, and setting the foundation for educational programs and other activities.

A combined approach was adopted for the purposes of the ” re-exhibition ”  A concept- orientated model organizing the archaeological material was blended with the tradition object-orientated approach, which organically connects the thematic and chronological sections , and at the same time encourages the development of notional correlations attractive to the museum visitor.  In brief, the underlying concept of the re-exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Siteia  can be expressed as, Siteia from  Prehistoric to Roman times through the excavated remains”.

Each display section follows the chronological and developmental progress of the civilization in the area of Siteia and the wider region, integrated and presented within time periods in individual thematic sections and subsections. The Prehistoric sections utilize the dating system developed by Nikolaos Platon in 1966 and published in Archaeologia Mundi. His chronology is based on the development of architechtural complexes frequently called palaces in Aegean Bronze Age periods (such as the Prepalatial period. the Protopalatial period etc.)This gave us the opportunity to display the changes and evolution of the urban environment throughout the specific phases.

The opportunity to realize a renewal of the Siteia Museum exhibit was due, in part, to the large project of expansion and re-exhibition taking place in the Archaeological Museum of Hagios Nikolaos. The old display cases from the Hagios Nikolaos Museum were transported to the Siteia Museum and were adapted to fit the needs of the new museological and museographical study of the museum.

The process of renewing the exhibition in the Archaeological Museum of Siteia is not yet complete. The creation of informational signs and the labeling of objects are in progress and should be finished in  the coming months.

Even though the new exhibition was not yet complete John and I found the new Siteia Museum delightfully light and the displays well set out with plenty of room to walk around each of the many artifacts and display cabinets. We look forward to visiting the Siteia Museum again. No doubt our colleagues at the Instap Study Center will let us know when all is complete.

Below are a few of the Photo’s

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Minoan Bathtubs and Storage Jars.

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Vessels from a Shipwreck from the Island of Pseira Crete

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These small figures are connected with worship.



Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


Made in China: an imperial Ming vase


I just love Ancient pottery.

Originally posted on British Museum blog:

detail of Ming vase Yu-Ping Luk, Exhibition Project Curator, British Museum

Early last year, when the idea of a Spotlight tour to complement the BP exhibition Ming: 50 years that changed China was raised, we had to consider which single object from the British Museum collection could possibly represent early Ming dynasty (1368?1644) China. The answer seemed obvious – it had to be a spectacular blue-and-white porcelain vase.

Press launch in Room 33 of the Spotlight tour and Ming exhibition

Press launch in Room 33 of the Spotlight tour and Ming exhibition

Without knowing much about the Ming dynasty, most people will probably have heard of the ‘Ming vase’. The phrase ‘as precious as a Ming vase’ is often used to describe an antique object of great value. The plot device of a priceless Ming vase being smashed to pieces or stolen has been used in films and on television for comic or dramatic effect. The spotlight tour, together with the exhibition at the British Museum…

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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


Our Star Student Studying Linear B in Preparation for the Final Exam at Levels 1 & 2


This is a blog about myself which is self explanatory. Thanks to my teacher for which I am truly grateful for guiding me through this extremely fascinating subject of Linear B Script writings.

Originally posted on Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae:

Our Star Student Studying Linear B in Preparation for the Final Exam at Levels 1 & 2 (Click to ENLARGE):

Studying Linear BLest anyone think that the Final Examination even at Levels 1 & 2 (Basic) is easy, it would be wise to disabuse oneself of such notions, as will become perfectly clear when I post the 20 questions in the Final Examination once our student has taken it. She is already extremely proficient at this level, and has even managed to translate parts of some Linear B tablets, and can in fact translate at least one of them in its entirety, if she puts her mind to it... which I am sure she will. Considering that she was not greatly familiar with Greek, ancient or modern, prior to taking our course, I am simply astonished at how quickly and methodically she has mastered the basic syllabary of Linear B in…

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Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Uncategorized


Teapots from Yixing

I think by now you will all know that my main interests lie with anything to do with archaeology and ancient times, mainly pottery  Therefor it will come as no surprise  that I also like collecting certain antique items, one of which are the beautiful Yixing teapots, of which I only ever managed to obtain two to add to my collection of teapots.

Chinese Yixing Teapot with looped handlec 1900

Yixing Ware Teapot with looped handle c 1900


Archaeology reveals that as early as the Song Dynasty (l0th century) potters near Yixing were using local ” Zisha”  (purple sand/clay) to make utensils that may have functioned as teapots.


According to the ‘ Ming dynasty ‘  Zhou Gaoqi , during the reign of Zhengde Emperor, a monk from Jinsha Temple (Golden Sand Temple) in Yixing handcrafted a fine quality teapot from local clay, such teapots soon became popular and the fame of Yixing teapots quickly spread.

These wares are valued for their fine texture, thin walls and naturally beautiful color, ranging from light buff to deep maroon to purple tones. The clay consists of quartz, kaolin, mica and iron oxide and it is the iron oxide which gives the reddish color of the clay.Yixing teapots can be simple and elegant or exotic and elaborate

Teapots from the Ming dynasty tend to be very simple and elegant whereas the Qing dynasty (l644-19ll ) brought a higher level of decoration of the Yixing teapots. and the artists began to create pots with painting, inlaid with gold and silver.

Chines Decorated Teapot  cl720 Qing Dynasty

Qing dynasty Teapot and cover c 1720

Yixing Teapot (Ming Dynasty)

KangXi an early Emperor in the dynasty liked colored enamel  pots which were more formal than those of today. All the pots that entered the palace could only have the seal of the Emperors  reign and not the artists shop. During his reign China began exporting these beautiful purple teapots to Europe along with the Chinese tea.

Packing Tea into wooden chests. 19th century

Packing tea into wooden chests for export

Porters lugging tea chests on carrying poles to the shipper.

Porters lugging tea chests on carrying poles to the shipper 19th century.


Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Uncategorized


Cambridge University archaeologists find ‘oldest’ Roman irrigation system

Originally posted on Ancientfoods:


It is thought the beds would have been used to grow grapes or asparagus
Excavations at a Cambridge University development have revealed what archaeologists believe is Britain’s oldest-known Roman irrigation system.

Planting beds and pit wells were unearthed at the North West Cambridge site near Huntingdon Road.

Chris Evans from the university’s archaeological unit said they dated from between 70 AD and 120 AD.

It was an “unparalleled discovery” and “effectively the first irrigation system we’ve seen”, he said.

Excavations have so far uncovered evidence of settlements and habitation on the site from as early as the later Neolithic period, about 2800 BC to 2200 BC, to the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman period as well as more modern finds including World War II practice trenches.

‘New territory’
The team has been investigating how people through the ages adapted to living in an inland area away from main river valleys.

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Posted by on March 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


New Post on Rita Roberts Blog The Burial That’s Changing British History

New Post on Rita Roberts Blog The Burial That’s Changing British History

Originally posted on :

There are a few notable archaeological finds and sites that fall under the category of the ‘Pompeii Effect’. They are the type of thing every archaeologist hopes to discover once in their life. The ‘Pompeii Effect’ is when everything, or most everything, at a site is preserved. It is based on the discovery of Pompeii’s Roman city, where the volcanic eruption caused the preservation of an entire city in action. It is a rare finding of intact human remains, with thousands of details about what happened and who they were. Another great example is Otzi the Ice Man, preserved in ice with a number of objects, and frozen so well that his tattoos were maintained and his stomach contents could be examined. One last example is King Tut’s tomb, a rare discovery of riches and an intact mummy. All of these are exceptional finds, not necessarily because the archaeological work…

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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Uncategorized


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