Ancient Cultures

Monthly Archive: December Anci

The ROM ‘Minoan’ Goddess: The Minoan Relations

Posted: April 8, 2014 - 11:12 , by Kate Cooper
Detail of the head of the ROM 'Minoan' Goddess

After looking at the best known of the dubious ‘Minoan’ figurines (which may be modern) in my last post, here I show some of the genuine Minoan objects discovered in archaeological excavations on Crete.

The ROM ‘Minoan’ Goddess: the Suspect Sisters (and brothers)

Posted: April 7, 2014 - 12:59 , by Kate Cooper
Detail of the head of the ROM 'Minoan' Goddess

The ROM Goddess is just one of the ‘Minoan’ figurines in several museums sometimes thought to be fake.  These two installments of the ROM Minoan Goddess project introduce you to some of the suspected (although not definitively proven) fake figurines, and the genuine Minoan objects that may have inspired them.

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)

The Corinthian helmet type is one of the most immediately recognisable types of helmet, romantically associated with the great heroes of Ancient Greece, even by the Ancient Greeks themselves who rapidly moved to helmet types with better visibility, but still depicted their heroes in these helmets. In modern portrayals of Ancient Greek warriors, it is always the Corinthian type that is depicted, although often modified to suit the look desired - for instance in one movie the helmet was modified to expose more of the face of the actor.

ROM ‘Minoan’ Goddess Hangout: battling with technology!

Posted: February 12, 2014 - 17:19 , by Kate Cooper

I’ve just finished a Google+ Hangout talking about the ROM ‘Minoan’ goddess with a colleague and expert in ancient ivory and gold statues, Dr. Kenneth Lapatin.  It was Ken’s research and publications about the suspect Minoan ivory figurines in several museum collections that first prompted the ROM to reconsider the display of their own ‘icon’ (see my blog post for more on this story).

Weapon Wednesday: The Horse

Posted: January 29, 2014 - 14:42 , by Robert Mason
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Frieze from the tomb of Zuo Biao, sandstone 110cm long, dated by inscription to 150 AD, Eastern Han dynasty, Mamaozhuang village, China, # 925.25.22.N

The horse is not just a form of transportation, but is a weapon in itself. The genus Equus is thought to have evolved over 4 million years ago in North America, specialising in being able to eat the grass of the steppelands and run away from predators. North American horses later became extinct, possibly due to hunting by humans, although various species of horse, asses and zebras thrived in the Old World.

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

I continue the story which I began in my previous post to show 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: The Long History of an Irish Bronze Age Sword

Posted: December 18, 2013 - 13:04 , by Robert Mason
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The Late Bronze Age sword and its 18th century grip.

The story of a sword made in Bronze Age Ireland.

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.