Archaeology

Monthly Archive: December Arch

The Monastery of St Moses, Syria: The Cave Survey

Posted: July 11, 2014 - 12:20 , by Robert Mason
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This cave would have been a home for one of the monks of the Deir Mar Musa community, the wall at the front of the photograph shows that they had a small terrace outside the cave, either for a living area or for growing food.

The monastery at Deir Mar Musa would not have just comprised the main buildings, the monks would actually have been dispersed in hermitages across the landscape.

The Monastery of St Moses, Syria: The Frescoes

Posted: July 4, 2014 - 12:26 , by Robert Mason
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The fresco of the Last Judgement on the West wall of the chapel at Deir Mar Musa.

The third in a series on the monastery of St Moses in Syria comprises a detailed examination of the important cycle of 11th-12th century frescoes found in the chapel.

The Monastery of St Moses, Syria: The Pottery

Posted: June 29, 2014 - 09:38 , by Robert Mason
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Pottery with an earthenware fired-clay body, overall white slip, incision through the slip with a broad tool, overall lead glaze, splashed with copper-green, probably mid-14th century.

Despite there being almost 1,400 years of occupation at Deir Mar Musa, strangely the overwhelming majority of the pottery found at the site can be assigned to the "Mamluk" period. The period of Mamluk rule in Greater Syria (1260-1516) generally reflects an archaeological horizon that post-dates the destruction of the great ceramic production centre at al-Raqqa,  and Eastern Syria became a wasteland on the border with the Mongol Ilkhanate dynasty of Iran, leaving Damascus as the sole producer of elite quality under-glaze painted stone-paste bodied ceramics.

The Monastery of St Moses, Syria: Introduction

Posted: June 17, 2014 - 15:32 , by Robert Mason
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View of the old monastery buildings from the South in 2004, with then Brother Jihad, a member of the monastery.

Robert Mason reports on his years of archaeological fieldwork at the Monastery of St Moses, Syria, in this blog series. 

 

 

Weapon Wednesday: The Nugent Marathon Corinthian Helmet

Posted: February 19, 2014 - 11:34 , by Robert Mason
Through a warrior's eyes: detail of the Nugent Marathon helmet  (ROM no.926.19.3 - photo Kay Sunahara)

An account of an ancient Greek helmet excavated by George Nugent-Grenville, 2nd Baron Nugent of Carlanstown, on the Plain of Marathon in 1834.

Behind the scenes in New World Archaeology with April Hawkins

Posted: January 8, 2014 - 13:29 , by Ryan Dodge
New World Archaeology Technician April Hawkins

April shows us what goes on behind the scenes in the New World Archaeology Department

The Evans Connection Part 2: The Minoans Created

Posted: December 31, 2013 - 16:34 , by Kate Cooper

The continuation of the story of how the British archeologist, Sir Arthur Evans, made his own particular interpretation of the ancient Minoan civilization so popular.

The Evans Connection Part 1: The Minoans Discovered

Posted: December 30, 2013 - 20:39 , by Kate Cooper

I pick up the story of the Ivory ‘Minoan’ Goddess to discuss why the ROM, or indeed anyone, believed that the figurine was genuine (or why she was created, if she is fake). 

Weapon Wednesday: Two daggers from Luristan, Iran

Posted: December 4, 2013 - 12:14 , by Robert Mason
ROM #938.35, the dagger of Marduk-shapik-zeri, 43.6 cm long (ROM Photography)

In museum circles the region of Luristan in the Zagros Mountains has a long association with the antiquities looted from tombs there in the 1920's and 30's. These objects seem to be primarily from the Early Iron Age (circa 1000 BC - 750 BC), and comprise an array of distinctive objects that include horse bridles and other equipment; fittings possibly associated with chariots; and an array of weapons, primarily of bronze.

International Archaeology Day at the ROM!

Posted: October 28, 2013 - 07:27 , by Rae Ostman
Projectile point

ROM experts were joined by archaeologists from all over the GTA to celebrate new discoveries and ongoing projects at International Archaeology 2013.