Monthly Archive: December Worl
Since 2004 I had walked the Qalamoun mountains around the monastery of Deir Mar Musa looking for archaeological features to record. In all that time I found one lithic, a stone tool from humanity’s prehistoric past. My colleagues back home that specialised in these objects would say that I just didn’t know what I was looking for. In the last days of the 2009 season, what turned out to be my last season at the monastery, I thought I would reconnoitre the southern part of the field area.
During the recent Hero-themed Friday Night Live at the ROM, I brought out examples of popular prints from the collection that explored different hero tropes in South Asian culture. Here are some of them. About a hundred year ago, mass produced colour lithographs proliferated across the South Asian subcontinent creating new imaginary communities through a shared visual imagery. In this new kind of visual culture, hero images seemed to flip traditional gender roles by being dominated by warrior females and pacifist males.
Written by Aruna Panday, Ph.D Candidate York University, Co-Chair Friends of South Asia Committee, and ROM curatorial intern.
Bagh nakh (tiger-claw weapon), lacquered steel, India, 19th century, ROM 913.10.28
Probably on October 24th in 79 AD a large group of people congregated on the beach at the seaside town of Herculaneum, in Italy. They were presumably trying to take ship to gain distance from Mount Vesuvius, which had been raining ash and rocks on the city, and the neighbouring town of Pompeii, all day. But suddenly, a massive cloud of red-hot ash swept down from the volcano directly towards Herculaneum. Studies of the skeletons on the beach show that they were mostly males, with women and children huddling in boathouses by the shore. One man in particular was a soldier.
Sophia Chowdhury (far right) with her sister Meena (second in from left) and the next generation: Aneesa (far left), Zakary (centre), and baby Anarah. In the ROM’s curatorial area with the dagger, August, 14 2014. Photo Deepali Dewan, posted with permission of the family.
Sikhs in Canada, The Singh Twins, watersolour on board, England, 2010, 44 x 32.5 cm. ROM 2010.53.1 This acquisition was made possible with the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust Fund. Copyright The Singh Twins: www.singhtwins.co.uk
She’s been languishing in the Greek & Roman storerooms for years, but finally the ROM Minoan Goddess is back on display.
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.
Have you ever wondered how museums collect their treasured artefacts? You probably know that many objects are generously donated to such cultural centres. But do you know the story or the provenance (the record of origin and history of ownership) behind these objects? The ROM is full of interesting acquisition stories—many of which can be found in the Curatorial departments and the Library & Archives. This is just one…