Mediterranean material culture from prehistory to now

In this scene I examine a finger ring, reusing a late Roman agate seal, from southern Italy, late 7th century in the Museo Nazionale Archeologico di Napoli. In the next scene, the custodian of the stores tried it on and asked if it suited her (not pictured).

Back in March my chapter on material culture for the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Mediterranean History came out. It was a challenging exercise to condense into 8000 words the essence of the study of material culture in a Mediterranean geo-historical context and also to represent all periods of human history at the same time. I have… Continue reading Mediterranean material culture from prehistory to now

A history of Cornwall through objects

Padstow's Obby Oss used for its world famous May Day celebrations (c) Padstow Museum

In September I was commissioned to help develop and create content for a digital history of Cornwall through its objects alla¬†History of the World in 100 Objects¬†format and fame. A booklet of 100 objects chosen from collections across Cornwall’s museums had already been created by Museum Development Officers showcasing everything from a cork model of… Continue reading A history of Cornwall through objects

Top ten for heritage digitisation projects

Originally written and published in 2010 on Past Thinking. Republished here for archival purposes. Digitisation usually refers to making collections data, including images and other media, available online. But it may also refer to making any quantitative (e.g. historical datasets) or qualitative information (exhibition and learning resources) available and discoverable via the web. A digital… Continue reading Top ten for heritage digitisation projects

A bad curator blames their tools

Identifying measuring and finishing tools

I have been a member of the Social History Curators Group (SHCG) for a few years now. Of all the professional groups and societies dedicated to museum and collections work I have found SHCG to be the most useful. Most degrees and qualifications in museum studies (or indeed heritage management) lack opportunities for sustained subject-specialist… Continue reading A bad curator blames their tools

A history of Welsh copper in 29 objects: displaying the Latin American connection

On Thursday 16 December at 4pm I shall be giving a paper to this title for the Centre for the Comparative Study of the Americas (CECSAM) at Swansea University. This will be the first time I have delved into a brand new region’s material culture since my foray into medieval southern Italy for my PhD.… Continue reading A history of Welsh copper in 29 objects: displaying the Latin American connection