Stories from Objects: The teaching collections of the Department of Classics, Ancient History, and Archaeology

In 1902 Prof. John Hopkinson wrote to the department stating his wish to purchase antiquities to aid in the teaching of ancient Greek, his request was approved, and shortly afterward he purchased several Greek vases on a trip to Rhodes.

These vases formed the nucleus of the Archaeology Collection, which has steadily grown since its inception in 1902. Today, the Archaeology Collection holds over 2,000 objects from Greek, Roman, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and European contexts. It is used actively in teaching and continuing Prof. Hopkinson’s initial plan for the collection, gives students the opportunity to learn directly from objects of the ancient world through taught seminars and volunteer placements.

Beginning in 2018, the Department launched a joint venture with the University’s Research and Cultural Collections to increase the use of the collection and raise awareness of the collection within and beyond the University. To achieve these aims, the collection was reorganised based on themes that reflect the teaching and research interests in the Department. New information panels were written by academic staff members and student volunteers were involved in all planning and installation stages.Students handling animal bones

To celebrate the relaunch of the collection we are holding a series of  Object in Focus talks where teaching staff from CAHA speak about the specific objects in the collection and share what they can tell us about the ancient world. We also have a new Podcast series Stories from Objects that involve academics and students talking about different objects in CAHA’s teaching collections. The series will cover topics such as Roman coins, animal bone, Greek pottery, and Egyptian shabtis and much more. We hope that these talks and podcasts will introduce the collection to a wider audience, and listeners will enjoy learning these stories from objects.

Look out for the first podcast episode released on Thursday 31 October 2019.