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Posts tagged with 'archaeology'

History of World Museum Liverpool

6 May 2010 by Kay C

Thursday 6 May is the day people have been talking about all across Liverpool: it’s the day our public lecture series features the history of World Museum Liverpool.

Liverpool’s Museum – The First 150 Years is the first of three great talks lined up for this afternoon’s session. Presented by our Executive Director of Collections, John Millard, the event starts at 2pm in the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum, and is part of our celebrations in the museum’s 150th anniversary year. Read more…

Something for Thursdays

21 April 2010 by Kay C

Thursday afternoons are never going to be the same again…

I am really excited about our new Spring 2010 Public Lecture Series, which kicks off tomorrow (April 22). It’s being held at the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum, and features a selection of subjects from our museums and galleries’ collections and exhibitions, from archaeology to contemporary slavery.

For the next four Thursdays, our curators will be talking about some of the fascinating things they have researched. Read more…

The Liverpool Ivories

25 February 2010 by Ashley Cooke

photograph of a carved ivory panel

Last week I went to Germany accompanying one of the many national treasures that are held by World Museum. We are fortunate to hold one of the greatest collections of ancient ivory carvings in this country. The Liverpool ivories are internationally known and admired, and are frequently requested for loan by other museums. They have been key pieces in many international exhibitions bringing to life the fascinating history and art of the Byzantine empire.

In the 4th to 6th centuries AD ivory panels were carved with intricate images and hinged together to form a diptych, which could close together rather like a cigarette case. They were made for the elite to celebrate important events such as games marking the attainment of high office.

The Venatio Ivory is the left panel of a diptych with a carved representation of an elk fight (venatio is Latin for ‘hunt’). Wild beasts were hunted as a form of entertainment in amphitheatres such as the Colosseum in Rome. It will be great for people to see this object in context with so many similar artefacts and alongside a huge model of an amphitheatre.  Read more…

Ancient Greece at the World Museum

11 February 2010 by Lisa

It may still be freezing outside, but here at the museum one of our curators has been occupied with thoughts of sunnier climes – Greece to be exact! Here’s our Curator of Classical and European Antiquities, Gina Muskett, to tell us more…


Curators putting objects into a case

Careful with that pot!

Visitors to the third floor of World Museum will see a change – a brand-new display of Greek objects. Lots of people – not just me – have been working on this display, and it’s taken us less than a year to get ready, from start to finish. Above you can see a photo showing two of us arranging the objects in one of the cases. It takes a lot of time to get things just right and, of course, we have to handle the objects with great care – the pot we’re putting into position is about 2,500 years old. Read more…

Hittite axe mould discovered

8 October 2009 by Karen

Françoise Chircop Rutland of the University of Liverpool, who is doing her PhD on NML Hittite collections, asked Annemarie Le Pensèe in Conservation Technologies to scan a mysterious mould from an excavation by Professor Garstang in 1907 to 1911 at Sakje Gözü, southern Turkey.  Making a computer positive from the scanned negative it turns out to be a mould for a type of axe known in Middle to Late Bronze Age Egypt – between 1300BC and 1180BC. Read more…

Another report from the trenches at Leasowe

11 October 2007 by Sam

Yesterday Liz Stewart gave an update on the community dig at Leasowe. Here’s a follow up report from Frances McIntosh, the finds liaison officer for the region’s Portable Antiquities Scheme, who is based at National Museums Liverpool, when she’s not digging up trenches


“We’re into our third week now and have so far only had two days of rain, pretty lucky for the North West!! We’ve had 2 open days with hundreds of people coming to see what we’ve been up and to and find out more about the history of the lighthouse and its surrounding areas. Read more…

Community dig at Leasowe Lighthouse

10 October 2007 by Liz

excavated area of brick floor

Over the last couple of weeks our Field Archaeology Unit has been working on a community dig at Leasowe on the Wirral. We are now half way through and are finding the remains of some buildings which once stood next to the lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1763. A late eighteenth or nineteenth century stable and coach-house is shown in some early photographs and on old plans but the excavation has revealed more detail about how it was built and used at different times in the past. Read more…

Dig at the dock – update

4 April 2007 by Karen

Mark Adams from the archaeology team with an update on activity at the Manchester Dock site. Photos from the dig are still on our Flickr page. If you’ve missed any of the excavation posts follow the ‘museum of liverpool’ link at the foot of this post.


After a lull of about three weeks whilst we recorded the dock structures exposed in the first phase of the dig, excavation has begun for the new museum foundations. This is being undertaken as a ‘Watching Brief’ which entails the Museum’s archaeologists monitoring the excavation of the site by machine. The site is being excavated in this way because test-pits and boreholes taken earlier in the project showed that the quaysides were constructed over dumps of sands, gravels and rubble dumped into the Mersey to form this part of the docks. The vast majority of this material is of little or no archaeological interest, most is probably dredgings taken from the river, and hand digging of this material is not realistically feasible or productive. However, it does contain pockets of very interesting deposits. So far we have found more sugar moulds (below) similar to those found earlier in the excavation, including one which although broken may be complete, and another with a complete makers stamp for W. Ashcroft of Prescott. Read more…

Dig at the dock – lots of snaps

9 March 2007 by Karen

looking up towards a sunbathed dock gate partly submerged in earth

Just added another batch of photos to our Manchester Dock photoset on Flickr. Some pretty nice snaps there including this one taken low down in Manchester Dock.

Dig at the dock – masons’ marks

2 February 2007 by Karen

a close up of sandstone block carrying the mark H 4

The mason’s mark H4

Museum archaeologists excavating Manchester Dock have been pleased to find the inner walls of the lock gate are in very good condition. Many of the stones not only feature the original chisel marks but also the identifying marks of the individual masons. Stonemasons would mark the stones they had dressed so their daily output could be accurately tallied and they would be paid accordingly.

Some are simple shapes (like the triangle one featured on our Flickr page). Others are a mix of letters and numbers like this example. Read more…