June is ROM Ancient Cultures Month

 June is ROM Ancient Cultures Month
Say hello to an old friend as the Museum introduces ROM Ancient Cultures

(Toronto, ON – May 30, 2013) This June, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) officially introduces ROM Ancient Cultures, the Museum’s newest Centre of Discovery. In conjunction with the June 22 opening of Mesopotamia: Inventing our World, presented by RSA Insurance, a wide range of innovative programming highlights the Centre while engaging visitors of all ages and interests.

ROM Ancient Cultures explores past civilizations and their relevance today. As members of Canada’s largest field research institution, ROM archaeologists excavate around the world, uncovering new information to further global understanding of change in culture and environment. At the Museum, curators and technicians analyze and conserve the Museum’s extensive collections. From early human ancestors in China to the technological innovations of Mesopotamia to the global economy of ancient Rome, ancient cultures help us understand the diversity of contemporary human experience.

There are numerous ways to become involved with ROM Ancient Cultures: from visiting galleries to participating in public programs; from attending research conferences to exploring artifacts in the Museum’s galleries; from speaking with ROM curators to creating crafts using traditional techniques. The month of June is the perfect time to say hello to the ROM’s newest old friend!

Dr. Rae Ostman is the Managing Director of ROM Ancient Cultures. She says, “ROM Ancient Cultures brings our visitors together with researchers and experts at the Museum and around the world to learn about the past, and what it can tell us about our lives. In addition to our many permanent galleries, this June the ROM offers numerous special opportunities to engage with Ancient Cultures, including the Mesopotamia exhibition, programming for families and adults, and online experiences. I'm looking forward to sharing what we do at the ROM and connecting with our community!”

About ROM Centres of Discovery

The ROM’s vast scope can be overwhelming. To enhance access and further understanding of its extensive collections and curatorial expertise, the Museum now has eight areas of focus – Ancient Cultures, Biodiversity, Canada, Contemporary Culture, Earth & Space, Fossils & Evolution, Textiles & Fashions and World Art & Culture.  Each Centre of Discovery subject area is designed to help people better connect with the vibrant ROM communities most relevant to them. The first Centre to fully activate was ROM Biodiversity in April, followed by ROM Ancient Cultures in June. The Museum plans a phased introduction to each Centre of Discovery.

Ancient Cultures Family Programs

Ancient Egypt Weekend
Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 
11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Never mind ‘walking like an Egyptian’ - Ancient Egypt Weekend is all about having fun like an Egyptian! Write your name in hieroglyphics and decipher messages. Participate in an archaeology dig and create an ancient Egyptian broad collar. Embark on a scavenger hunt and learn the secrets of mummification. Talk with experts from all corners of the Museum and see what’s coming out of the vaults next (hint: a special cat mummy may make an appearance. Mum’s the word!)

Discovery Corner – Ancient Samurai
Saturday, June 8
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Location: Prince Takamodo Gallery of Japan

Learn about the samurai and their prized weapons, armour, ideas, and art!

Ancient Rome and Greece Weekend
Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16
11:00 am to 3:00 pm

Join in an exploration of the ancient empires of Rome and Greece while creating your own gladiator helmet.  Objects are coming out of the vaults and onto touch tables. Meet and greet ROM curators who might challenge you to a game of knuckle bones! Keep an eye out for the Roman soldiers on guard to ensure you are having fun in the way of ancient Romans and Greeks.

Discovery Corner - Ancient Mesopotamia
Saturday, June 22
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Location: Wirth Gallery of the Middle East

Timed to the opening of the ROM’s feature exhibition, this program explores community and communication through art and writing in Mesopotamia.

All family activities are included with general Museum admission. To book a group of 20 or more and for more information on private guided tours or group menus, please call ROM Group Sales at 416.586.5801 (ext 2) or email groupsales@rom.on.ca.   

Adult Programs
ROM Friday Night Live (FNL)
Friday, June 21
7:00 to 11:00 pm                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Now in its third successful season, ROM Friday Night Live (FNL), the city’s singular social destination calls on Mesopotamia for its June 21st edition - the season’s finale. With an additional charge, the exhibition is open for viewing prior to its public opening the next day. Middle Eastern wares, from jewellery to fashion apparel to beauty items, are for sale in the exhibition’s boutique. The feature exhibition’s content lends itself to themed activities in galleries throughout the ROM. Entertainment is provided by two house DJs and the evening’s live performances include a multi-media presentation by Juno-nominated composer/DJ Adham Shaikh.  Multi award-winning and JUNO-nominated Jaffa Road also appear. Mesopotamia has been credited with inventing beer, making this ancient culture a particularly fitting theme for the FNL season finale!  Find out more by joining the conversation:  @ROMtoronto #FNLROM

Adult Workshops
A series of workshops takes place throughout June providing rich insight into social, environmental, and cultural aspects of ancient civilizations and their continued legacy. For more information or to enrol in your workshop(s) of choice, please go to programs@rom.on.ca or call 416.586.5797.

Context: Lectures at the ROM
Nakht: A Hard Life in Interesting Times

Wednesday, June 26 10:00 am Coffee and Tea in Food Studio, Level B1
11:00 am Lecture Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre

Join Gayle Gibson, Egyptologist and ROM Educator, as she looks into the fascinating life of the teenage boy who became the subject of the first modern autopsy of an ancient Egyptian.

Ancient Cultures Trivia Night
Wednesday, June 26
7:00 pm
Foxes Den Bar & Grill, 1075 Bay Street                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Are you smarter than an Assyrian – or Indiana Jones? Find out during this fun evening of challenging questions and interesting answers that touch on your favourite ancient civilizations and pop culture references.

Explore: Mesopotamia Lecture Series
Launches Thursday, June 27 at 7:00pm (with multiple dates throughout the engagement of Mesopotamia)
Signy & Cléophée Eaton Theatre

Dr. Clemens Reichel, Associate Curator of Ancient Near East in the Museum’s Department of World Cultures and the ROM’s curator of Mesopotamia, launches the lecture series that hosts internationally respected scholars address numerous exhibition themes.  Clemens will speak on Kings of the Universe: The Rise and Development of Political Leadership in Mesopotamia.

Personalize Your Museum Experience
Visit www.rom.on.ca/members to complete a short survey to update the ROM on your areas of interest. By doing so, you will be kept informed of all that the Museum has to offer YOU.