#artifactoftheday Ceramic Lamp, Roman Egypt. KM 1850
The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at The University of Michigan houses a collection of more than 100,000 ancient and medieval objects from the civilizations of the Mediterranean and the Near East. No admission, but donations accepted.
#artifactoftheday Ceramic Lamp, Roman Egypt. KM 1850
#artifactoftheday Base of a faceted bowl, glass cut, Late Sassanian Period (5th-6th centuries CE). This type of Sassanian glassware was highly prized along the Silk Road. One example was buried with Aknan, an emperor of Japan (d. 535 CE). Objects such as this demonstrate the international flavor of Seleucia on the Tigris and its position as a crossroads of the ancient world. KM 36358.
#nationaloliveday For many years, these were identified as "bread." However, in 1996, 70 years after they were uncovered at Karanis, Cambridge University researcher Delwen Samuel, who was working on grains for bread and beer in ancient Egypt at the time, asked to sample the "bread" for analysis. It was then discovered that in fact, these cakes were made of residue from olive pressings. Kept in stacks it is hypothesized that these were used as fuel and/or animal fodder. Olive pressings are still used as such in Mediterranean countries that produce olive oil. Just goes to show- research is never finished!
Olive pressings, KM 4797
Stacks of olive pressings in a top layer granary at Karanis, Egypt, 5.1576
Looking north over courtyard with olive press and pots, 5.4219
You can see why the ancient Greeks misinterpreted the Egyptian god Harpocrates as the god of secrets and silence. His coy smirk and hand placement do make him look as if he is hiding some salacious secret. KM 6521. #nationalsmileday
How cute is this minute dog figurine? Excavated from Karanis, Egypt in 1935, this little guy is less than 3 cm tall. What was his purpose? A toy? An amulet? KM 6911
Heading out to enjoy the spring flowers this weekend? Or perhaps doing some gardening of your own? Head on over to the Kelsey Blog to enjoy some of the flowers of the past in this month's #fromthearchives. #springflowers #gardening http://myumi.ch/qgq1v
Conferences in the time of corona. Check out out latest Kelsey Blog post to check in on the planning of the annual conference of the American Institute of Conservation. http://myumi.ch/yKw1M
By Suzanne Davis, Curator of Conservation For the past three years, I’ve had the privilege of chairing the annual conference of the American Institute for Conservation. It’s an interesting job in w…
Here's looking at you!
Introducing #ConnectingCollections, an initiative directed at bridging institutions with object collections from the ancient world. We’ll use this hashtag to explore various shared themes, artifact types, and histories. The founding members include @harvardmuseum, @kelseymuseum, @metancient/@metmuseum, @pennmuseum, @theorientalinstitute and @yalebabyloniancollection with aims to expand!
This bone fetish (KM 16188) is one of nearly 60 similar anthropomorphic figurines excavated by the University of Michigan at Seleucia on the Tigris, Iraq (field seasons in 1927–1932 and 1936–1937). Dated to the Parthian period (150 BCE–200 CE), these figurines were discovered in homes and graves, and have been identified as female. Incised lines and circles indicate breasts, genitalia, navels, and facial features. Their large, staring eyes can make them look quite fierce! The function of these small objects is unknown, but their abundance and findspots indicate personal use. Perhaps they were amulets for fertility or protection.
#textiletuesday Cotton and linen textile fragment. Central band consists of rabbits running within a row of red roundels. Fatimid Period, early 11th cent CE. KM 2.2645.
#musicmonday A flute or whistle, excavated at Karanis, Egypt. KM 3569
Volunteers Urgently Needed This Weekend! In the wake of the terrible flooding in Midland County, the Midland County Historical Society Heritage Park is in need of help Sunday and Monday to remove all artifacts from buildings and help with building modifications. For more information visit:
All artifacts, damaged and otherwise, need to be removed from the buildings at the Midland County Historical Society Heritage Park immediately. People with Collections/Curatorial training are needed to lead small teams of volunteers with the removal. Facilities/construction personnel are also n...
Born #onthisday in 1858, Francis Willey Kelsey (1858-1927), for whom the Kelsey Museum is named, was an extraordinary individual. Professor of Latin Language and Literature at the University of Michigan from 1889 until his death in 1927, Kelsey was an enthusiastic teacher, meticulous researcher, and savvy entrepreneur, who continually immersed himself in visionary projects, ranging from the archaeological to the humanitarian.
#fieldworkfriday Stone altar found on the surface during U of M excavations at Karanis, Egypt in 1930. KM 8169.
#thirstythursday Etruscan Bucchero oinochoe, late 7th -6th cent. BCE. KM 2816.
#whatisitwednesday Take a guess! Answer will be posted this evening.
Getting tired of the #boardgames you have at home? Try your hand at the Royal Game of Ur! Instructions and printable game board are available on our Kelsey @ Home webpage: http://myumi.ch/yKRd3. Game board in mudbrick, KM 33673.
Happy International Museums Day! Museums may still be temporarily closed, but we are looking forward to a time when we can welcome you back to our galleries at the Kelsey Museum of #Archaeology. Magic awaits! #IMD2020 #internationalmuseumdays
This months #uglyobject is a marble head of a faun. Height 4.9 cm. Carthage, Tunisia, late 2nd–early 3rd century AD. KM 29622. Learn more about this grotesque fawn head over at the Kelsey Blog. myumi.ch/BoM2g
#fieldworkfriday Our faculty may not be excavating in the field this season, but they are digging through libraries, archives, and research papers! Visit http://myumi.ch/QA5ng to learn more about the Kelsey's current field projects.
Six bronze medical instruments on an iron ring from Rome. Tweezers and lances haven't changed much in nearly 2000 years. #ancientmedicine KM 1485a-g.
Over one hundred years ago, Francis Kelsey found himself in a situation where he couldn’t travel as he had hoped. He used the tools available to him to proceed with his work. Sound familiar? Check out our latest #fromthearchives post over at the Kelsey Blog to learn more. myumi.ch/dO0vB
Color reproduction of the Hadrumetum mosaic, “Virgilio Meditante L’Eneide.”
Late Antique, Egypt
Our exhibition galleries are closed, so we're creating digital content and fun activities that you can download and enjoy from the comfort of your domus (that's Latin for "home"). Explore this space for activities that kids, students, and adults can enjoy. Go on a scavenger hunt through our virtual exhibitions, play an ancient board game, or relax with a coloring page. Check back often! We'll be adding more fun, downloadable activities in the weeks ahead.
Happy Mother’s Day! A letter written by a Roman soldier to his mother in Karanis. P.Mich.inv. 4528
"Apollinarius to Taesis, his mother and lady, many greetings. Before all else I pray for your health. I myself am well, and I make obeisance on your behalf before the gods of this place. I wish you to know, mother, that I arrived in Rome in good health on the 25th of the month Pachon and was assigned to Misenum. But I have not yet learned my century, for I had not gone to Misenum when I wrote you this letter. I beg you then, mother, take care of yourself, and do not worry about me, for I have come into a fine place. Please write to me about your welfare and that of my brothers and all your kinsfolk. And for my part, if I find someone , I will write to you; I will not delay to write to you. I salute my brothers often, and Apollinarius and his children, and Karalas and his children. I salute Ptolemaios, and Ptolemais and her children, and Heraklous and her children. I salute all your friends, each by name. I pray for your health."
Still looking for a gift for mom? She may like something like this beautiful bracelet! Glass, Roman Egypt, KM 5320.
#fishfriday Lamp fragment in the form of a fish. Byzantine, Late Antique Period. Brown clay, mold made. KM 6582
Pot with lug handles. Naqadda II period, ca. 3500-3200 BCE. Naqada II culture from Predynastic Upper Egypt is distinguished by a shift to using marl pottery. Marl pottery was made from desert clay that contains a lot of lime. These vessels were usually painted with a cream-colored slip and brown decorations. They often have wavy handles. KM 8.8814
#whatisitwednesday Take a guess! Answer will be revealed this evening!
Writing was a highly prized skill and training was done through temple schools or private schools run by scribes. It took about 12
years to learn to be a scribe. A student’s lesson was inscribed on one side of a round piece of clay. We call these lesson tablets “lentils” or “buns” because of their shape. The tablet was scored with lines on both sides. The student then needed to copy the lesson on the lines on the reverse side. If he made a mistake he could erase it by dampening the clay wiping away the error. The lessons on this bun are the signs for “beer,” “mash,” “arable land,” and “to go.” #teacherappreciationday
Unguentarium excavated at Karanis, Egypt. ca 4th cent CE. #artifactoftheday
Over the years, U-M photographer Randal Stegmeyer has created many memorable images of Kelsey Museum artifacts. This retrospective of Randal's career features his photography for the Kelsey as well as some of his own personal photographic works.
Since our galleries are closed due to COVID-19, we have created a virtual exhibition that mimics the look and feel of the planned installation. We look forward to the day when we can welcome you to visit the exhibition in person, but until then, you can view Randy's magnificent photographs from the comfort of your home. Visit our website or use the link: http://myumi.ch/wlNrw
Kelsey Museum of Archaeology's cover photo
Bronze coin with head of Augustus on obverse and Jugate heads of Rhoemetalkes and wife on reverse. Mint: Thrace, ca. 11 BCE-12 CE. KM 1991.2.250
Tapestry fragment with dancers
Late Antique, Egypt
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Ann Arbor, MI
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