A mystical Christmas evening where the ancient sound of Latin melodies are just the beginning of your Yuletide experience. Allow your spirit to travel back to yesteryear, lulled by the eerie sounds of ‘Schola Cantorum’s lonely Gregorian chant. Be entranced by the magical dusk-light flickering through the stained glass windows highlighting the quaint surroundings of the Abbey Church. Arrive around 5.45pm to allow time to visit the museum and view the collection of medieval manuscripts on display in the manuscript gallery. Don’t miss an opportunity to visit the museum shoppe to browse the wonderful array of unique gifts and souvenirs for those ‘difficult-to-pick’ Christmas gifts. The chant begins at the Church at 6.30pm, followed by a medieval themed supper of traditional Christmas food and gingerbread at the Abbey Hall. (Parking at the rear of the museum). This event has limited numbers and sells out quickly, so book your tickets below.
A standing room only audience accepted the invitation to hear Professor Wayne Horowitz speak on the lost Jewish communities in ancient Babylonia on Tuesday 19 September . Professor Horowitz is a Professor of Assyriology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was here working on the Cuneiform Project Australia and New Zealand. This project aims to identify and publish all the cuneiform artefacts in Australian and New Zealand collections. Dr Horowitz has been examining 10 such objects in the Abbey Museum’s Middle East collection.
In his presentation Professor Horowitz spoke of the commencement of the Jewish Diaspora when the population was transported to Babylonia following the sacking of Jerusalem. The Jewish people spent 2500 years in exile in Babylonia. His colleague and research assistant, Peter Zilberg, completed the evening with his talk titled “Ezekiel and the Grand Canal of Babylon”. Mr Zilberg explained how information gleaned from cuneiform tablets have added to our knowledge of the Jewish nation in captivity. In an enthusiastic and energetic presentation he showed how seemingly mundane items recorded on cuneiform tablets tied in to biblical …
There was great excitement in the Abbey Museum office last week; in fact, it felt a little like Christmas, as the Director unwrapped a group of medieval artefacts that had been donated to the Museum. We are trying to grow the medieval collections because of the association with the very popular Abbey Medieval Festival.
The first object to be revealed was a small but deadly collection of nine iron medieval arrow heads. They possibly come from Scandinavia as most are tanged, a form which was more common in northern Europe than Britain, and date to the 9th to 11th centuries.
The second object to be unwrapped was a very small but delightful pilgrim’s badge of a fighting cock. The bronze badge is in the shape of a running cockerel with textures detail to the body, wings and comb, spurs to the rear of the feet and dates to the 13 – 14th century. It is said that cockfighting was originally introduced into Britain by the Romans. It was popular with all classes of society and …
Some of our favourite things!
Ever walked through the Museum and a special object has caught your eye? It happens with us too! The Collection Management Team meets regularly to research and catalogue the Museum’s artefacts. Each member of the team has particular favourites. Having so many incredible artefacts in the collection we are spoilt for choice, however, here are a few of our favourite things…
Museum Director, Edith Cuffe, likes the Chinese snuff bottle with an ‘inside painting’ of a crane in a landscape scene. It is in Museum Case 26. How did the artist manage to paint all that on the inside of such a small bottle?!
Also in Museum Case 26 is one of Michael Strong’s favourites, a Tang tomb model of a female flute player. Michael isn’t the only one for whom this is a favourite. Denise Crawley, who coordinates the shop, is also a fan of the lady with the flute.
Our team’s favourites!
Anne Bradley has spent countless hours investigating our collection of 43 jetons. When she needs a break from them she …
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 …
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 …
To many people archaeology embodies adventure, excitement, very old things and, of course, thanks to the Indiana Jones franchise, unfortunately Nazis. The image of Indiana Jones, Hollywood’s archetypal archaeologist, has been burned into the minds of the “baby boomer” generation. These days, finding anyone under the age of 20 who has seen these films is an adventure in itself. Archaeology is so much more than “digging up old stuff” and putting it into a museum; it plays an important role in society, more than most people realise. Instilling that idea into a student’s mind is a definite challenge.
Curiosity plays an important role in the public perception of archaeology and history. Why are people so fascinated by King Tut and the Pyramids? It has to be more than, “they look pretty cool” right? Well, that’s because it is. Human beings have a natural desire to know more about where they have come from, especially if it relates to themselves. There is no doubt that there is economic value associated with archaeology as well. Museums all over the world are …
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!
Can you Dig It?
**NEW ACTIVITIES ADDED!**
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 …
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 …