World Culture

Monthly Archive: December Worl

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.

Origins of a Collection: A look at R.S. Williams' Historic Musical Instruments

Posted: July 7, 2014 - 12:42 , by Jaime Clifton-Ross
European Music Book. Detail. 1835.

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…

 

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: Swords from the Philippines

Posted: May 28, 2014 - 14:30 , by Robert Mason
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17-18th century Filipino sword #927.59.47 (photo W.C. Pratt)

The ROM's collecton of swords from the Phillipines is outlined in the context of the history and geography of the archipelago.

 

Epic Civilizations During ROM Revealed: A Volunteer's Perspective

Posted: May 22, 2014 - 08:31 , by Deepali Dewan
Hung out with lions and dragons at volunteer post in Far Eastern Department.  Saw 250,000 year old mand mad artifacts.  How was your Sat? #ROMrevealed

Guest blogger, Amanjeet Chauhan sums up her experience as a volunteer during ROM Revealed Weekend.

Of India and Modernism: ROM acquires Abstract Drawing by Youngo Varma

Posted: April 30, 2014 - 16:58 , by Deepali Dewan
Youngo Varma Drawing, Graphite on Paper

Recently, the ROM acquired a work by Canadian-Indian artist Youngo Varma (b. 1938) that exemplifies his work with organic abstract forms.

Weapon Wednesday: Preparing for ROM Revealed

Posted: April 17, 2014 - 16:39 , by Robert Mason
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Middle Eastern helmets

For ROM Revealed, part of our 100-year celebrations, we undertook a major re-organisation in some Collections and Research departments. Here we can see the improvements made in the storage of Asian Arms & Armour in anticipation of this momentous occasion.

Chinese Hat Spheres

Posted: April 16, 2014 - 15:11 , by Amanda Girgis
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Image of Hat Spheres.

How Chinese hat spheres became a visible means of social indentification.