The Great Library of Alexandria

Originally posted on History Of The Ancient World:

Ptolemy II Philadelphus is shown conversing with scholars in the library of Alexandria in this 1813 work by the Italian neo-classicist painter Vincenzo Camuccini (1771-1844). Camuccini was probably inviting paralleis with Napoleon, portraying him as a patron of the arts.

The most celebrated library of the ancient world was established in Alexandria, Egypt, in the first half of the third century BCE, during the reigns of Ptolemy I Soter and Ptolemy II Philadelphus, king of Egypt 322-246 BCE. The library was part o a museum, which included a garden, a common dining room, a reading room, lecture theatres and meeting rooms, creating a model for the modern university campus.

A Papyrus fragment with lines from Homer’s Odyssey, from the early Hellenistic period c. 285-50 BCE, found in Egypt. Papyrus was usually inscribed with a sharpened read using black ink. The library of Alexandria made a point of collecting Homeric texts.

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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


Together with Family and Friends

For the past three weeks I have been visiting family and friends in England ,so apologies to my fellow bloggers for the lack of entering new posts here on my blog. I will now bring you up to date with what I accomplished, albeit I did not have enough  time to do and see everything I wanted to. For instance two of my school friends I planned to meet up with could not make the journey on the day I had planned as both mine and their schedule was pretty tight.

Although my family usually come to Crete for their holidays with me I had decided to visit them in England for a change, apart from the fact Crete at this time of year is very hot so the cool weather in England was much appreciated, even the rain.  Of course yes ! I was being spoilt by family in more ways than one and it was great seeing my grand daughters even though we see each other every year, they grow so quickly.

I spent quality time with old neighbors I had not seen for almost twelve years and we had laughs about their involvement at the time I was making my historical Roman Sauces as they were volunteers for the tasting sessions, which I am sure you all know about by now.

My dear friend Ginny whom I have known for 30 years was the first archaeological person I worked with ,we had a great day together going over old times about archaeological sites we worked on.  I had arranged to meet up with another special friend Anette, from the days when we were in the antique trade so much to catch up with, you can imagine our tongue’s never stopped wagging but it was great to see them.

One of the highlights of my holiday was meeting up with Gillian Mawson whom some of you may know, she is the author of the now popular book about the Guernsey Evacuees during WW ll  an interest we share because I was an evacuee myself during this time. It was the first time we have met other than on the internet so we were quite excited as we had so much to talk about, which we did over lunch at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery a place we had planned on visiting in order to see the wonderful collection of the Renaissance paintings.

Whilst at the Museum we discovered there was a special exhibition of machines which neither of us had ever heard of and had no idea what they were all about, so we decided to browse a little further where we thought there was only one room but to our amazement there were three rooms full of these wonderful comical looking machines.

The exhibition was all about Rowland Emett an English inventor of whimsical machines. There were fantastic flying machines and a bicycle for flying around the moon and the wonderful Chitty Chitty Bang Bang . A carpet sweeper, a rocking chair among many others all worked by mechanical devices built by Rowland himself. It was a truly superb exhibition.  Below are some pictures I took of Rowland Emett’s wonderful machines.


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This machine was showing a film at the front.

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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

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The Rocking Chair…..Love the slippers.

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The Carpet Sweeper.

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The railway was fantastic. Of course there were many more of these exhibits but this gives you an idea of this wonderful exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery England.

What a day we had Gill .




Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Uncategorized


Conserving the pottery, terracotta and tablets from Ur

Originally posted on British Museum blog:

Duygu Camurcuoglu, conservator, Ur Project, British Museum

My job is to assess the condition of the objects from Ur being studied as part of the Ur digitisation project, conserve them if necessary, and guide the project team on handling and safe storage of the objects before/during photography and further digitisation work. I joined the project in August 2013 to lead the conservation and my first responsibility was to assess and conserve the terracotta objects and the clay tablets with ancient cuneiform inscriptions on study loan from Iraq.

Assessing the condition of the Humbaba terracotta mask

Assessing the condition of the Humbaba terracotta mask

Fired clay mask of Humbaba. Old Babylonian, 2000?1700 BC; From Ur, southern Iraq.  (ME 127443)

Fired clay mask of Humbaba. Old Babylonian, 2000?1700 BC; From Ur, southern Iraq. ( ME 127443 )

There are over a thousand terracotta objects from Ur in the British Museum’s collection, primarily reliefs, figurines and models. Although some are skilfully modelled, the majority are rather crude and mass-produced in moulds. My initial task…

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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


A tribute to Augustus


Seeing as I have been away for a few weeks and have not had time to write an interesting post I thought my fellow bloggers would enjoy this re-blog.

Originally posted on FOLLOWING HADRIAN:

This week marks the bimillennial anniversary of the death of the first Roman emperor, Augustus. He died on 19th August AD 14 at the age of 75 after a 41-year reign, the longest in Roman history.

Augustus left his mark on Rome and western civilisation like few others. He vastly expanded the Roman Empire, established a period of relative peace known as the “Pax Romana” (or “Pax Augusta”), a period of immense architectural and artistic achievement whose effects were felt far beyond the capital. His legacy is perhaps best represented in the abundance of statues that were erected throughout the empire during and after his reign.

Augustus of Prima Porta, discovered  in the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta © Carole Raddato

Augustus of Prima Porta, discovered in the Villa of Livia at Prima Porta
© Carole Raddato

Portraits of Augustus were used as symbols of his political propaganda. Abandoning the realistic style of the Republican period, his portraits always showed him as an idealized young man. This…

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Posted by on August 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


How many Greek legends were really true?

Originally posted on History Of The Ancient World:


How many Greek legends were really true? b

The culture and legends of ancient Greece have a remarkably long legacy in the modern language of education, politics, philosophy, art and science. Classical references from thousands of years ago continue to appear. But what was the origin of some of these ideas?

1. Was there ever really a Trojan Horse?

The story of the Trojan Horse is first mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey, an epic song committed to writing around 750BC, describing the aftermath of a war at Troy that purportedly took place around 500 years earlier.

After besieging Troy (modern-day Hisarlik in Turkey) for 10 years without success, the Greek army encamped outside the city walls made as if to sail home, leaving behind them a giant wooden horse as an offering to the goddess Athena.

The Trojans triumphantly dragged the horse within Troy, and…

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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


Classics professor unearths archaeological clues about ancient Roman vineyards

Originally posted on Ancientfoods:


Topic: Roman find

They may not look like much to the untrained eye, but these ancient Roman grape seeds, believed to back to the 1st century A.D., could provide “a real breakthrough” in the understanding of the history of Chianti vineyards in the area, de Grummond says. (—Call it a toast to the past.

A Florida State University classics professor whose decades of archaeological work on a remote hilltop in Italy have dramatically increased understanding of the ancient Etruscan culture is celebrating yet another find.

This time around it’s not the usual shards of pottery and vessels, remnants of building foundations or other ancient artifacts unearthed in past years, but rather a treasure that’s far more earthy: grape seeds. Actually, Nancy Thomson de Grummond has discovered some 150 waterlogged grape seeds that have some experts in vineyard-grape DNA sequencing very excited. The tiny grape seeds, unearthed during a dig this…

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Posted by on August 11, 2014 in Uncategorized


Ming musical moments

Originally posted on British Museum blog:

detail of Ming vaseA Ming imperial porcelain flask visits Glasgow, by Tom Furniss

Large porcelain flask painted with underglaze blue decoration. Made in Jingdezhen, China. Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, 1426–1435

Large porcelain flask painted with underglaze blue decoration. Made in Jingdezhen, China. Ming dynasty, Xuande mark and period, 1426?1435. Gift of Sir John Addis.

In the deepest deeps of old slow time,
Five thousand miles from here,
Two continents of clay collide,
Two halves of China merge between
The Yellow and the Yangtze.

Twenty thousand years ago
Potters working in a cave
Formed and fired the southern clay,
Made pots in Jiangxi province:
Shards and bones remain.

In the Xuande reign of the Great Ming,
Six hundred years ago,
A peasant took a bamboo spade
And dug in beds of clay.

Women mixed the kaolin
With pottery stone and quartz,
Water from a mountain stream
And feldspar from the earth.

A potter took the earthen clay
And made a wonder with his hands,
A flask half a metre high,

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Posted by on July 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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