Morgantina and Aidone, Sicily (June, 2013)

January 4, 2014

On this very cold weekend in the Midwest I thought I’d post some photos from the hottest place I visited in Sicily last spring (Morgantina) and the delightful little town (Aidone) whose archaeological museum houses some of its remains.

Morgantina is southeast of Enna and a short drive from the Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina (I’ll post some photos of its fantastic mosaics soon). Although this time the site felt like the inside of an oven, on cooler days it’s well worth a visit. (But bring water just in case.) The city dates back to the late Bronze Age but moved to its current location in the 5th century BCE. Changing hands several times in the many wars of the following centuries, the town lasted until the first century CE. Excavations have been going on for quite a while now so there’s plenty to see.

Morgantina (061913)

Morgantina with Etna barely visible in the distance.

The North Baths at Morgantina

The North Baths at Morgantina

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The Art Institute of Chicago

November 26, 2012

The new Mary and Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Art at the Art Institute of Chicago are well worth a visit. There are many new pieces (on loan or newly acquired) and the best stuff is often hard to photograph (i.e., it’s behind glass).

Entrance to the ancient galleries

Torso of an emperor, ca 100 CE

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Minneapolis Institute of Arts

June 27, 2012

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has an impressive collection of ancient art (I’m sure they also have an impressive collection of non-ancient art but I was pressed for time). Also free admission and parking!

A Doryphoros, late Republican copy of a Classical Greek original.

Pompeian fresco, perhaps of a Lar, 1st century CE.

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The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

May 29, 2012

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is a short walk north of the British Museum on the campus of University College London. William Matthew Flinders Petrie (1853 – 1942) was an Egyptian archaeologist who excavated at Tanis, Gizah, Naucratis, El Amarna, El-Lahun, Meidum, Naqada, Abydos, and Thebes to list only a few of the 50+ sites at which he worked [Margaret S. Drower, Flinders Petrie: A Life in Archaeology (1995) page xxi]. Drower writes of him: “He found archaeology in Egypt a treasure hunt; he left it a science” [page xxii]. His museum houses an amazing array of artifacts but, it must be said, is in desperate need of more space. Definitely worth a visit though.

 

Entrance

Fragment of a Middle Kingdom stela

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British Museum II: Assyrian Antiquities

May 10, 2012

From the ninth to the seventh century BCE, the Assyrians ruled an empire which eventually stretched from Mesopotamia to Egypt. While they may have been universally reviled for their brutal tactics, they at least left behind some beautiful, if often rather martial, reliefs:

Tukulti-apil-esharra AKA Tiglath-pileser III ruled the Assyrians from 745 to 727 BCE. Among his many achievements was the conquest of Babylon.

Depiction of a siege in Babylonia from Nimrud, ca. 728 BCE.

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British Museum I: Egyptian Antiquities

May 9, 2012

This is the first of several posts of photos from the British Museum. We’ll start with a few examples of the Egyptian material…

The Rosetta Stone: hard to photograph…

Amenhotep III, ca. 1400 BCE

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Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow

May 5, 2012

More photos from Glasgow:

Main Building, University of Glasgow

“Rome’s Final Frontier”

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