Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum

Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum The mission of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum is to engage members of the Johns Hopkins University, academic researchers, and both the Baltimore & worldwide public in an interactive, interdisciplinary and collaborative study of the ancient world.
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http://archaeologicalmuseum.jhu.edu

Mission: The mission of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum is to engage members of the Johns Hopkins University, academic researchers, and both the Baltimore and worldwide public in an interactive, interdisciplinary and collaborative study of the ancient world through the examination, research, exhibition and conservation of archaeological objects.

Operating as usual

A familiar face rounds out this season of the Peopling the Past podcast this week. You can hear Sanchita Balachandran ab...
12/01/2020
Podcast #12: Thrown Together: Potters, Painters, and Ceramic Production with Sanchita Balachandran

A familiar face rounds out this season of the Peopling the Past podcast this week. You can hear Sanchita Balachandran about how the Archaeological Museum's collection inspired the undergraduate course "Recreating Ancient Greek Ceramics" that inspired many more years of staring at, studying, smelling and even tasting (sort of) pots. We promise, no ancient archaeological objects were damaged in the making of this podcast or this research! https://peoplingthepast.com/2020/12/01/podcast_12/

On this episode of the Peopling the Past Podcast, we are joined by Sanchita Balachandran, Associate Director of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum. Listen in, as she speaks to us about the sen…

The museum is excited to announce that through a partnership with the Johns Hopkins Department of the History of Art's V...
11/17/2020
library.artstor.org

The museum is excited to announce that through a partnership with the Johns Hopkins Department of the History of Art's Visual Resources Collection in the Johns Hopkins University Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, a selection of ancient objects from the Archaeological Museum collection is accessible online as an Artstor public collection (free access). This online collection is also part of a new initiative by Ithaka to integrate public collections in search results in the JSTOR research database. Currently 180 objects including The Buckler Roman Surgical Kit from Colophon and The Sidney Pointer Coin Collection are available. Be sure to visit often as we will be adding new objects in the near future.

How exciting to see that the Peopling the Past folks have interviewed Johns Hopkins' own Jennifer Stager, assistant prof...
11/16/2020
Podcast #9: Living in a Material World: Jennifer Stager and Technicolour Statues

How exciting to see that the Peopling the Past folks have interviewed Johns Hopkins' own Jennifer Stager, assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of the History of Art! Listen to Professor Stager talk about the complexities of how the ancient Greeks viewed (and thought of) color, and why you should start staring ancient sculpture directly in the eyes the next time you're (safely) visiting museums. https://peoplingthepast.com/2020/11/10/podcast_9/

Dr. Jennifer Stager Dr. Stager’s Academic Pages Personal Website Johns Hopkins Profile Antioch Recovery Project On this episode of the Peopling the Past Podcast, we talk with Dr. Jennifer Sta…

We're enjoying the new podcast "Peopling the Past" featuring specialists who are looking at how we can think about the r...
10/29/2020
Podcast #7: No Bones about it: Climate Change in the Ancient World with Flint Dibble

We're enjoying the new podcast "Peopling the Past" featuring specialists who are looking at how we can think about the real people in the ancient world and how they lived. A recent interview with zooarchaeologist Flint Dibble examined evidence for climate change in ancient Greece, and how animal bones give us insight into how peoples' food systems (and meals!) changed as a result: https://peoplingthepast.com/2020/10/20/podcast_7/

On this week’s episode of the Peopling the Past Podcast, we hear from Dr. Flint Dibble, Lecturer in the Department of Classical Studies at Dartmouth College. Join us, as Dr. Dibble discusses …

Associate Director Sanchita Balachandran is giving a talk at the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology this Wednesday at ...
10/12/2020

Associate Director Sanchita Balachandran is giving a talk at the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology this Wednesday at 12pm PST about her research on ancient Athenian ceramics, inspired my the museum's collection. You can sign up to attend here:
https://www.ioa.ucla.edu/content/virtual-pizza-talk-makers%E2%80%99-spacemaking-space-interdisciplinary-imagining-lived-experiences

Her talk is entitled, "Makers' Space/Making Space: An Interdisciplinary Imagining of the Lived Experiences of Ancient Athenian Potters and Painters."

10/12/2020

On #IndigenousPeoplesDay we acknowledge that our museum rests on the ancestral homeland of the Susquehannock People, and that this land has been a place of gathering and stewardship of many Native Peoples past and present (and future) including the Piscataways, the Accohannocks, the Lumbees, the Cherokees and the Nanticokes. We continue to commit ourselves to learning ways to working more reciprocally and respectfully with Native Peoples.

The fall semester is underway, and while things are rather different this year, the one unchanging fact is that our inst...
09/02/2020

The fall semester is underway, and while things are rather different this year, the one unchanging fact is that our instructors are incredibly dedicated and creative. This week, the museum's own Meg Swaney began teaching her undergraduate course "Egyptomania: A Consumer's Guide to Ancient Egypt," and you can follow along on the class instagram page! https://www.instagram.com/inquiring_egyptologists/

Looking forward to seeing what interesting things these "inquiring Egyptologists" work on in the coming weeks!

If you missed yesterday's conversation "Your Mummies, Their Ancestors" featuring several specialists including associate...
08/19/2020

If you missed yesterday's conversation "Your Mummies, Their Ancestors" featuring several specialists including associate director Sanchita Balachandran's remarks on caring for ancient Egyptian human remains, you can now watch it here on the Everyday Orientalism YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLGUhS2qUi8&app=desktop

Join the Archaeological Institute of America and the museum's own Sanchita Balachandran in a conversation coming up on A...
08/06/2020

Join the Archaeological Institute of America and the museum's own Sanchita Balachandran in a conversation coming up on August 27th: "Becoming Better Accomplices And Instructors: Justice, Activism, And Reflexivity In Teaching Museums And Cultural Heritage" The session is an online panel discussion on best practices, successes, and failures in creating and implementing a more diversified and inclusive teaching strategy.

Registration is free:
https://www.archaeological.org/webinar-3-becoming-better-accomplices-and-instructors-justice-activism-and-reflexivity-in-teaching-museums-and-cultural-heritage/

So exciting to see the work that continues to come out of the innovative courses taught by Jennifer Stager, assistant pr...
07/28/2020

So exciting to see the work that continues to come out of the innovative courses taught by Jennifer Stager, assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of the History of Art. Her course "Classics Research Lab: Antioch Recovery Project" resulted in this ARCGIS map produced by graduate students Ella Gonzalez and Maya Kahane!
https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=dfb15fa40a4647288b11b1139697903e&extent=-172.2656,-9.1412,172.2656,82.8921

Congratulations to Ella and Maya for their terrific work and to Prof. Stager for this course.

Here's a full course description (don't you wish you could have taken it?):
Antioch Recovery Project investigates mosaics from the ancient city of Antioch (modern Antakya, Turkey, near the border with Syria) now in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art. Excavated by an international team of archaeologists in the 1930s, hundreds of ancient mosaics from the cosmopolitan city were subsequently dispersed to museums across the globe, with twenty-four mosaics entering the collection of the BMA. Phase I will focus on the digital documentation and analysis of the mosaic of Narcissus as a prototype for ongoing research bringing together the fragments of ancient Antioch for contemporary beholders. The Greek myth of Narcissus tells the story of a beautiful Theban hunter doomed to love his own reflection and is the origin of the modern psychiatric term “narcissism”. Researching the mythology, materials, conservation history, archival material, historiography, and contemporary reception of the Narcissus mosaic and myth offers extensive opportunities to collaborate with scholars across a range of disciplines at JHU, in the Baltimore museum community, and beyond. Investigators will move between the Baltimore Museum of Art, the CRL processing lab in Gilman Hall, and Special Collections. The course will involve some travel to visit other mosaics from Antioch now in collections at Harvard’s Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C., and the Princeton Art Museum in Princeton, New Jersey.

https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=dfb15fa40a4647288b11b1139697903e&extent=-172.2656,-9.1412,172.2656,82.8921

Excited that the museum's associate director Sanchita Balachandran will be in conversation with other scholars on the to...
07/22/2020
#EOTalks: Your Mummies, Their Ancestors? Caring for and About Ancient Egyptian Human Remains

Excited that the museum's associate director Sanchita Balachandran will be in conversation with other scholars on the topic of ethical care of ancient Egyptian human remains on August 18th, from 10am-12pm EST. You can join the conversation as well by signing up for a zoom link. This event is co-organized by The Egypt Exploration Society , Everyday Orientalism, Egypt's Dispersed Heritage - آثارنا المتغربة, and Charlotte Parent (Samuel H. Kress Fellow, Royal Ontario Museum). For more information:

https://everydayorientalism.wordpress.com/2020/07/22/eotalks-your-mummies-their-ancestors-caring-for-and-about-ancient-egyptian-human-remains/

by Charlotte Parent, Heba Abd El Gawad, and Katherine Blouin Cover picture: Mahmoud Hassan (see below for details) Join us on zoom on August 18th for the fourth of our 2020 #EOTalks series! This di…

As wearing masks becomes all the more important for public health reasons, perhaps our eyes have to be more expressive. ...
07/06/2020

As wearing masks becomes all the more important for public health reasons, perhaps our eyes have to be more expressive. This Egyptian faience kohl tube from the Eton College Museums and Galleries takes us back to the ancient use of enhancements for the eyes, both as forms of beauty but also for health reasons. Read what Ashley Fiutko Arico (PhD ’17), Ella Cammarato (’19) and Debbie Kim (’21) had to say about this object. And gorgeous how this x-radiography provides evidence into the lead-based eye paint still preserved inside these tubes.

http://archaeologicalmuseum.jhu.edu/the-collection/object-stories/providing-for-the-afterlife/triple-kohl-tube/

Do you miss the days of signing actual paper documents with an actual pen? Tired of e-signing documents with a virtual s...
06/30/2020

Do you miss the days of signing actual paper documents with an actual pen? Tired of e-signing documents with a virtual signature? Here's an introduction to the use of cylinder seals in ancient Mesopotamia which were rolled on clay as signatures of sorts. Who better to tell the story than our former museum staffer Anna Glenn, who is now Dr. Anna Glenna and holds the faculty position of Wissenschaftliche Assistentin at the Institut für Assyriologie und Hethitologie at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, Germany.

Read more here:
http://archaeologicalmuseum.jhu.edu/the-collection/object-stories/cylinder-seals-from-the-ancient-near-east/

For my final post in this mini-series spotlighting the not-too-often seen objects in our collection, I want to share col...
06/13/2020

For my final post in this mini-series spotlighting the not-too-often seen objects in our collection, I want to share collections with some local flavor: a sampling of Native American artifacts from the Mid-Atlantic. Before I worked in museums, I was a field archaeologist excavating primarily in the Mid-Atlantic so I have a particular interest in these objects and the cultures that produced them.

JHAM has an eclectic mix of archaeological Native American artifacts from the Mid-Atlantic states which is a result of how antiquities were added to the collection in its early years. Like the Chinese porcelain tiles I posted about yesterday, the donations of single objects did occur with some frequency. For example we have a complete vessel, or pot, from Halifax County Virginia that was donated in 1887, 5 years after the JHAM collection was started. Our research to date suggests this is an example of late Dan River Ware (ca. 900-ca.1400 BCE) that was discovered after an embankment of the Staunton River collapsed and the land owner collected it. Through marriages and family ties, this unusually complete vessel made its way from Virginia to the University through a donation from a student.

Other objects came into the JHAM collection through the donation of larger personal collections. One of these was the collection of T.D. Jones, a local collector, who recorded on maps the location of where he found stone tools down to the field. Some archaeological sites in Maryland are named from the field designations he assigned while he conducted surface collections. A sample of the material he collected in the 1890s is shown in the first image of ground stone and chipped stone tools from the site 18BA454 (TDJ Field X). This site is located on the Patapsco River in the Landsdowne area of Baltimore County, Maryland. Still adhered to the tools are some of Jones’s paper labels on which he recorded location names and the field designation, in this case “X.” Jones’s wife Mrs. Margaret Pue Jones donated his collection of more than 400 artifacts to Johns Hopkins University in 1926.

The smaller personal collection of Bartow Van Ness of about 300 prehistoric artifacts primarily from Maryland was added to the JHAM collection in 1926 when it was donated by his wife. Unfortunately, we do not have much information on where the objects originated except for when the location is written on the object. An example, shown here, are stone bifaces he called “spear heads” from a cache in West Virginia. The location “Chest. W. Va” is marked in ink on the surface of one.

The final artifact I will share with you is an axe head from Pennsylvania. It is part of the Mayer collection which I discussed in my first post on Tuesday. This final image demonstrates the challenge of studying older collections like ours. Objects often come in as an individual find and often the only information we have is recorded on a label glued, taped, or shellacked to the object’s surface. This label gives more information than most: the stone axe head was found 1 foot below the surface on the bank of the Lehigh River. At least it gives us a starting point…

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s sneak peek at the eclectic nature of our collection and some of the (fun) challenges in researching it. Have a nice weekend – wear your mask, wash your hands and be safe.

Hi, it’s Kate again with another post highlighting objects in our collection that are not pulled often from storage. One...
06/12/2020

Hi, it’s Kate again with another post highlighting objects in our collection that are not pulled often from storage. One day in the museum, I walked past a student who was cataloging artifacts and I stopped in my tracks when I saw what they were cataloging. I was surprised to see pieces of modern industrial glazed porcelain in our collection. I asked the student what documentation we had on the objects and she told me the catalog number (the number physically written on the objects), didn’t match the information on the catalog card with the same number. In fact the card described an object made of a different material. Without the connection between the object and our information about the objects, we didn’t know from where these thick, L-shaped pieces of porcelain with one glazed side came. In the collection database there was even a note suggesting “possibly modern.” Something about these porcelain objects with their unusual shape and modern look made me dig into our card catalog to figure out this mystery. After reading through a substantial portion of the cards that describe objects in our collection, I discovered that the number, which was a little smudged, had been read incorrectly and subsequently entered into the database incorrectly.

The correct catalog card read “PIECES OF TOWER, PORCELAIN, from / Nankin. Four. Inventory number 5373 / Presented by Captain J.C. Ferbiger, U.S.N." From this bit of object history, we were able to discover that these were tiles from The Porcelain Tower in Nanjing, China that was built in the 15th century. The tower was 97 feet in diameter and 260 feet tall (see drawing of the tower). The tower was pulled down in 1856 during the Taiping War, also called the Taiping Rebellion, that started in the early 1850s and ended in 1864. To support this origin of the tiles, the Hopkins tiles are very similar to those in other museum collections that are said to be from the tower.

Update: I'd like to thank Ella Cammarato '19 and Maddy Brancati '18 for their work in cataloging and researching this object.

But how did these tiles make their way to Baltimore? Captain J.C. Ferbiger, who was born in 1821 in Pennsylvania commanded the "Ashuelot" of the Asiatic squadron from 1866 to 1868. These dates suggest he was not present when the tower came down, however, he did spend 1867 to 1868 travelling from port to port in China aboard the “Ashuelot” and could have come into possession of the tiles then. Ferbiger was promoted to captain in 1868 and was stationed in Washington, D.C.. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1882, suggesting the donation was made before 1882 as he is referred to as “Captain” on the catalog card. He died in Easton, Maryland, in 1898 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. So we can see how the tiles possibly came to Maryland, but have not found the direct connection to why they are at Johns Hopkins…yet.

I am glad my first impression of these tiles was incorrect! I definitely did not think the research trail would lead to China as this is not an area of the world represented in our collection otherwise. I look forward to conducting more research on these objects in the future.

Have you lost your keys lately? Well, the ancient Romans must have had the same tendency as we do today. They solved thi...
06/11/2020

Have you lost your keys lately? Well, the ancient Romans must have had the same tendency as we do today. They solved this common problem by fashioning a key into a finger ring. A key on a finger ring could be kept secure worn on a finger or strung on a belt or chain. Key finger rings were used from 1st c. B.C.E into the Middle Ages. The ones in our collection probably date from the 1st to the 7th c. B.C.E.

In our collection, we have many objects that might not be of great beauty but represent aspects of daily life in the past. Often these types of ordinary objects are not highlighted due to the limited nature of what we can learn from them as individual objects (as opposed to having an archaeological context in which they are understood in relation to other artifacts) and their lack of visual interest for long-term display. Personally, I love every-day objects like these key finger rings which were worn by someone so long ago, yet we can connect with them today. -Kate

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150 Gilman Hall, 3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD
21218

General information

Free admission to the museum; see website for group tour fees Open: During the Semester Monday-Friday, from 10:30am to 1:30pm First Saturday of the month, noon to 4:00pm Summer and Winter Breaks Monday-Thursday, from 11:30-1:30

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LAST DAY - proposals ! https://www.e-a-a.org/eaa2019 Theme: Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms Title: Unveiling Invisibility: Exploring Knowledge , Interdisciplinarity and Identity through the Histories of Archaeological Collections Abstract: Archaeological collections are invaluable sources for reconstructing different aspects of the histories of archaeology. The study of archival documents, publications and newspaper articles related to the constitution and later evolution of such collections brings us insights into the development of archaeological theory and practice, the emergence of interdisciplinarity, as well as into the production and circulation of scientific knowledge across time. It also reveals the potential and role of archaeological collections in identity construction, and in shaping various types of networks and power relationships within the discipline of archaeology. This session aims to unveil the invisible stories behind both private and public archaeological collections in Europe and beyond, from the nineteenth to the twentieth century. We welcome papers that explore topics such as the agendas and ideologies behind collecting, researching and exhibiting archaeological objects and collections; the scientific narratives built around collections; the contribution of collections to the evolution of archaeological interpretations and to fostering pluri- and interdisciplinary collaborations and investigations; the role(s) of collections in the production, transfer and exchange of knowledge, as well as in building local, regional and national identities. We would also like to encourage discussions about the hierarchies and networks (e.g., social, academic) that were formed around collections between locals, collectors, amateurs, and professionals, in addition to their involvement in the birth and development of archaeological societies and museums. Following the EAA2018 session “Archaeology and interdisciplinarity & interdisciplinarity in archaeology: stories of a long and diversified journey (19th-21st centuries)”, this proposal also aims to get a broader and more detailed picture of some aspects of the research project ‘InterArq-Archaeology and Interdisciplinarity’. Keywords: Archaeological collections, Invisible stories, Interdisciplinarity, Identities, History of archaeology Organisers Martins, Ana Cristina (Portugal) 1,2 Coltofean, Laura (Spain) 3,2 Garcia-Ventura, Agnès (Spain) 4 Díaz-Andreu, Margarita (Spain) 5,2 Affiliations: 1. Instituto de História Contemporânea NOVA FCSH + UÉvora + FCT / Uniarq - ULisboa 2. InterArq Project, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain 3. Universitat de Barcelona, Spain 4. Juan de la Cierva-Incorporación, IPOA-Universitat de Barcelona, Spain 5. ICREA and Universitat de Barcelona, Spain Phone 00351939808860 E-mail address [email protected]