Cuneiform text

From Clay Tablets to Digital Tablets

The Reed Stylus and Clay Tablet

From clay tablets to digital tablets.  Today texting, typing, writing, memes, … there are so  many ways in which we communicate with others;  technology has opened a veritable Pandora’s box of possibilities. Communications have become shorter and more frequent, full of the expectation of an immediate response.  The result is our modern world seems to travel at break-neck speed.  It is hard to imagine what it was like at the beginning of recorded time when humankind first put pen to paper… well, actually not paper — or pen for that matter — but a reed stylus to clay tablet.

Clay Tablet with Cuneiform

As you may be aware, one of the earliest forms of writing is called Cuneiform. Cuneiform is thought to have been first developed by the Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia c 3500 – 3000 BC. Mesopotamian scribes recorded everything from daily events such as trade records and sales dockets to astronomical happenings and political events. I was surprised to learn that some tablets inscribed with cuneiform were written in several different languages …

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picnic

A Picnic at Pemberley – Recreating the Regency Period.

The Regency Period – a great artistic era or a bad royal joke?

The Regency Period was a  period of nine years, starting in 1811 when a bill was passed declaring that King George III was too unfit to rule, naming his 48-year-old son, the future King George IV, as Prince Regent. While the actual regency only lasted until the death of the King in 1820, the entire Regency Era is generally thought to be from the 1780’s until George IV’s death in 1830. However, the bill was made with reluctance as the Prince Regent was extremely unpopular. He was discouraged from making decisions regarding official governing business and war, so he instead spent all the money from the treasury on things such as balls, fashion, food, and pageants!  People did not view him as the ‘Great King’ they originally had hoped he would be, and by the time of his official coronation in 1821, he had become a symbol for senseless extravagance and a national joke.

A great period of change

But although the Prince Regent was a disliked person …

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Abbey Museum Medieval Manuscript

Medieval Manuscript Gallery Reopens

Medieval Manuscript Gallery

After more than 18 months, the Abbey Museum’s fabulous Medieval Manuscript Gallery has reopened!

You may recall that in late 2015, termites were discovered in the gallery – almost the worst possible scenario!  Fortunately, the little chompers had stuck to the timber and left the priceless manuscripts alone.  Our beloved manuscript gallery had to close and all the manuscripts and cases were removed before treatment could commence. It has been a long slow process but with funding assistance from the Federal Government through the Stronger Communities Programme and the Moreton Bay Regional Council we have been able to achieve our goal and reopen the gallery. And now we are so pleased to be able to announce the re-opening!

History never ceases to amaze!

During the closure of the Manuscript Gallery the Museum’s Senior Curator, Michael Strong, took the opportunity to photograph all the manuscripts. The timing was perfect as there has been a sudden increase in interest in the manuscripts from international researchers and we have now been able to send them quality colour photos. One thrilling …

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Abbey Museum Friends Bunyip trip

The Great Bunyip Hunt of 2017

Are you familiar with ghoulies and ghosties and long legged beasties and things that go bump in the night – like maybe a bunyip?

The bunyip is a large mythical creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes. The origin of the word bunyip has been traced to the Wemba-Wemba or Wergaia language of Aboriginal people of South-Eastern Australia.

On 2nd-3rd October the Abbey Museum Friends are organising a two day coach trip, Finding the Bunyip, which will take us to many places around the Scenic Rim where bunyips may well lurk. Along the way the Museum’s Senior Curator, Michael Strong, will explain the historical significance of the various sites and their importance to the Aboriginal people of the area.

We will be staying overnight at Beaudesert  and taking the opportunity to visit the Beaudesert Historical Museum. We will visit many places of significance – bora rings, lagoons, caves and natural features – hearing the dreaming stories along the way.

Cost will be $180 per person which covers bed …

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Celtic Myths Dr Dorothy Watts

Ancient Celtic Myths enthralled Friends

If you have been taking a keen interest in your Celtic ancestors and if you weren’t at the Abbey Hall on Saturday afternoon, 13 September then you missed a fascinating tale of your Celtic origins. Where did the Celtics come from –  all come from to inhabit the highlands of Scotland, Wales, parts of western Ireland, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Brittany, the Iberian peninsula and (most surprising of all) Galatia?

Dr Dorothy Watts is an honorary professor from the University of Queensland School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, and an expert in Celtic history. Her talk, “The Ancient Celts and Their Myths” entertained her audience with her enthusiasm for the subject. She told some wonderful stories from Celtic mythology and illustrated the places where our Celtic ancestors have popped up in art, literature and music since the start of the “Celtic Revival” in the 18th Century.

Dr Watts told this engaging tale of Fionn mac Cumhaill who met a priest/poet Finnegas, near the river Boyne who was trying to catch a magic salmon. Eventfully he did and asked …

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