Monthly Archive: December Robe
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.
The monastery of Deir Mar Musa in its heyday included hermitages spread around the landscape, but as today, the focus of the complex would have been the buildings, especially the chapel, home to the important frescos. The archaeology of standing buildings requires looking at walls to see how they are made, and how they relate to each other. One structure may clearly be seen as one that came first, with later structures abutting on to it. Different phases may be made of different materials, or the same material worked in a different way.
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 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.
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.
Robert Mason reports on his years of archaeological fieldwork at the Monastery of St Moses, Syria, in this blog series.
The ROM's collecton of swords from the Phillipines is outlined in the context of the history and geography of the archipelago.
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.
An account of an ancient Greek helmet excavated by George Nugent-Grenville, 2nd Baron Nugent of Carlanstown, on the Plain of Marathon in 1834.
In South Asia during the 16th to early 20th centuries all fashionable young men when visiting their ladies would want to dress at their best. This would include one very necessary dress acessory: the katar. This uniquely South Asian dagger is thought to have developed in the very southern part of what is now India. In the 17th century the type was adopted across South Asia, and became a standard dress accessory in the Mughal courts.