Tell Halaf and the Cradle Of Civilization Floor Talk + Special Artefact Display

Tell Halaf and the Cradle Of Civilization

It was while travelling through Syria trying to find the best route for the proposed Baghdad railways that a bizarre tale of stone statues in the form of human-animal hybrids came to the ears of Max von Oppenheim, attaché to the German embassy in Cairo and scholar in his own right. Oppenheim, a keen amateur archaeologist was intrigued by these rumours and started to investigate the site which would become famous as Tell Halaf.

In this talk, retired archaeologist, Vera Windau Heath, will take us on a journey back to the cradle of civilization and the remarkable story of the people who built this intriguing city. Vera will also share her personal experience of visiting and excavating this historic site and the secrets it continues to reveal to archaeologists.

Join us for afternoon tea following the talk as well!

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Archaeology Family Fun at the Abbey Museum

Kids Dig It! Archaeology Family Fun Weeks

Archaeology Rocks!

Can you Dig It?



Design a Museum Display & Rebuild an Ancient Artefact!

From Monday 9th to Friday 20th January 2017 (excluding weekends) our school holiday program is focused on Archaeology. The craft activities are inspired by the Museum’s Collection of Asian antiquities and are definitely a fun way to learn about these ancient cultures. Can you win our Rice Eating Challenge by being the fastest to eat a teaspoon of rice using chopsticks? Some activities run throughout the day while others are scheduled to help make your day easier to plan.

Make sure you take up the challenge of our Museum Questionnaire for the opportunity to win a Family pass to our next School Holiday Program!

When: 9th – 20th January 2017

Time: Doors open at 9.30am with scheduled activities running from 10am to 3pm.

Admission: Adult: $12.00,  Concession: $8.50, Children 5 – 15yrs: $ 7.00 Family 1 (1 adult, up to 4 kids): $19.80 Family 2 (2 adults, up …

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Pilgrim Badge Abbey Museum

Medieval Pilgrim Badge Donation Excitement

The Abbey Museum recently received a generous donation of a 14th century Pilgrim Badge of St Thomas Becket. A pilgrim badge, like the suit of armour also acquired this year, has been on the Museum’s wish list for a number of years as they represent an aspect of medieval life not previously represented in the collection.

Pilgrim Badge – Tourist Souvenir of the Middle Ages?

Pilgrimages were an important part of life in medieval England, and individuals were expected to make at least one major journey in their lifetime. Market stalls often lined the entrances to shrines, and here pilgrims could buy a variety of souvenirs such as badges and small vessels known as ampulae. This badge is in the form of St Thomas Becket and is one of a well-known series of badges that are miniature copies of the 14th century, life-sized, mitre-bust reliquary of St Thomas in Canterbury Cathedral. The badge would have been worn on the hat or outer clothing and would have been used as an amulet. The supposed miracle-working powers of the reliquaries that …

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Kids Dig It! Viking Family Fun Weeks

Vikings are invading the Abbey Museum

this September!

We are sending out the call for all Ragnars and Lagerthas to help us defend our antiquities. Costumes and tattoos are optional but you will definitely need a Viking mindset to participate and win at Shield Wall Training! Our September School Holiday Program is focusing on the Viking people and culture. Our craft activities are a fun way to learn about ancient cultures. Some activities run throughout the day while others are scheduled to help make your day easier to plan. The hardest part of your visit will be trying to get your kids to leave!

Running from Mon 19th to Fri 30th Sept 2016 (excluding weekends), we will have loads of fun activities such as: •Make a Viking Helmet and Longboat •Make and dress a Viking Paper Doll •Rune Translation and Puzzle pages •Make a Viking Bracelet ($2 extra) •Paint a Viking Shield ($4 extra) •Become an Archaeologist and dig up Viking Treasures •Try your hand at Whipcord Braiding •Learn …

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Abbey Museum Celebrates 30 Years

Thirty years ago on a warm Saturday afternoon in late June a group of friends, members of the Abbey Community, builders and museum staff gathered with over 100 invited guests  to hear the Abbey Museum declared officially open. It was a moving moment: the culmination of more than six years of research, design and fund raising.

There were times when it seemed that the modest design for the gallery would run out of funds and remain an empty shell. Despite the nightmares, remarkably money always came just in time to pay the bills. The Museum team became incredibly inventive in attracting funds and in-kind gifts of materials. At one stage the deputy director of the Queensland Museum (itself nearing completion) remarked to Michael Strong that there were more members of his staff working as volunteers at the Abbey Museum than there were at South Brisbane! Most of the case designs were done with the help of David Bligh and Robert Allen, two senior design artists at the Queensland Museum, and they relished the task of designing a museum without strictures …

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School Holiday Fun Viking Style! Write your name in runes

School Holiday fun at the Abbey Museum

School Holiday Fun at the Abbey Museum has never been so POPULAR!

At the end of our first week of Viking school holiday fun – we have already seen over 600 people through the doors! Vikings everywhere, families having so much fun. We have one more week to go and have made some additions to the program based on the popularity of Viking School Holiday Fun (we may or may not believe this is a result of parents hoping to catch a glimpse of Ragnar of Lagertha, you may need to wait until next month when that hit TV series returns to TV!!!!!)

Our wonderful staff have now added tea, coffee and cake to the menu for those hungry vikings and carers of the little vikings! We also have PLENTY of shields that you can purchase for an extra $4, painting these are a highlight for the kids. Archery and Viking Warrior training scheduling is subject to the weather.

We would Love you to post photos of your little ones having …

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A Medieval Christmas: an evening of Gregorian Chant

As the sun sets over the Australian bush, the sound of ancient chants will be heard drifting from the Abbey Church. The  church with its remarkable medieval stained glass windows is the venue for an evening of Medieval Christmas and Advent Gregorian Chant presented by Schola Cantorum, Brisbane’s leading Gregorian Chant Choir.

The chant recital will be followed by a light supper of medieval delicacies in the Abbey Hall. Here guests will also be invited to join with the choir in singing a number of traditional Christmas songs and carols.

Bookings are essential as numbers are limited.

Tickets: $30


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St Michael the Archangel 2

The Abbey Museum’s Icons Travel Interstate for Art Exhibition

We are so excited that two of the Abbey Museum’s icons from our wonderful Art Collection have been chosen as part of a special exhibition at the Ballarat Art Gallery in Victoria.

Abbey Museum’s Icons on display

EIKON: Icons of the Orthodox Christian World”, features eighty high-quality works, including some really sumptuous examples of Orthodox art. Most of the icons in the exhibition originated from Greece and Russia, with examples as well from Cyprus, Syria and Palestine, and date from the twelfth to the beginning of the nineteenth centuries.

This exhibition is a rare opportunity to view two stunning icons from the Abbey Museum collection, so if you are in or around Ballarat why not join one of the special tour the Gallery is offering through the exhibition and hear the stories behind these wonderful artworks. These special tours are on at 11.30am from Wednesday to Sunday during the exhibition which opened on Saturday 18 October and will close on Monday 26 January, next year.

The …

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Museum Prepares for Brisbane Parade

Abbey Museum Volunteers on the World Stage

While some of the staff at the Abbey Museum were busily preparing for our recent Jousting Spectacular event, our Abbey Museum Volunteers were keeping up a busy social life for the Museum with parades and visits to the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Abbey Museum Volunteers show off at the G20

The Queensland Government pulled out all the stops ahead of the G20 Summit to showcase Brisbane through live shows, street performances and interactive light shows across the cities CBD. The one event that caught our eye on the G20 Cultural Celebrations program was the ‘Brisbane on Parade’ event – a parade designed to showcase Brisbane and its finest. What a great way to not only promote the Museum but to celebrate what we do best. Between a group of Chinese Lion Dancers and Brazilian carnival stilt walkers was a group of wonderful and loyal Abbey Museum volunteers and re-enactors highlighting the eras represented by the Museum’s fundraising events and education programs. We say ‘wonderful and loyal’ to describe our Abbey Museum volunteers because not only did they …

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Luristan Horse bit detail on display at the Abbey Museum

Just a Bit of Horse Play

There seems to be a bit of a horsey trend happening at the Abbey Museum. We have just installed another artefact from our reserve collection into our Luristan display. It is an iron horse-bit with decorative cheek-pieces and is about 2700 years old. It is amazing how talented the metal workers of Luristan were. It case you are wondering, the Lurs lived in the rugged and wild Zagros mountains which are on the western side of modern Iran.

 During the 9th – 6th century the people of the Zagros Mountains were well known for their creative and extravagant bronzes that have been found in graves and tombs; unfortunately very few have been scientifically excavated. The Lurs produced famous horses, which along with weapons, were traded to the Mesopotamian empires of Sumer, Babylon and Assyria. Most of the bronzes contain figures such as horses, caprids, griffins and other fantastic composite creatures that show extravagant imagination.

This area of the Zagros Mountains is extremely desolate and even until quite recently was inhabited by dangerous brigands, making …

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