During my second week I got to work with the RCC’s Archaeology Museum, since the building is going through some renovations. We were to pack all the objects in large crates to protect them during the building work. Getting there, I couldn’t actually believe that they would let me handle the objects, seeing how fragile and (once again) ancient they are. Soon enough, though, I had put on a pair of gloves and was working away, registering every object with its accession number &c.

Archaeology decant2
Photograph by Nadia Awal.
Archaeology decant
Photograph by Nadia Awal.

Working on this, I not only got to touch objects from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, but also learn about how these kinds of objects are handled when they are not on display. I’m now also a little more versed in the world of museum loans.

Shabtis
Egyptian Shabtis sleeping in their tiny tissue cradles. Archaeology Museum, Research and Cultural Collections, University of Birmingham.

I had no idea before doing this that there were actual methods of folding tissue paper into different shapes for packing objects. But now, in my newly learned wisdom, I can inform you that there are! However, I did also make up a few shapes of my own, such as these little cradles for the Egyptian shabti figures. As much as I loved working with all the different objects, this red-figure amphora is my favourite.

_DSC0177
Red-figure amphora. Archaeology Museum, Research and Cultural Collections, University of Birmingham. Photograph by Clare Marlow.
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