Young Woman with a Stylus

Wax Tablets Roman Style

Wax Tablets….. the Roman Way!

What was your favourite excuse for not handing in your homework? Did the dog ever eat it?  Perhaps your kids have come up with some creative reasons as to why assignments were overdue! I seem to recall ‘the wind blew it away’ or ‘a glass of juice spilled on it’.  We have all heard a few good ones but in ancient Rome,  students had an even better excuse! Their homework had melted by the sun! (Sometimes assisted by holding their wax tablets close to their body).  Now that’s a good one!

Wax tablets and stylus was the means of writing at that time. Paper did not become readily and cheaply available in Europe until the Middle Ages. So, it was necessary to have an effective means for keeping lists, general correspondence and legal documents.  The wax tablet was used as the everyday notebook for thousands of years, although there is increasing evidence that ink was used on thin sheets of wood also.  A number of these have been found at Vindolanda, a Roman Army …

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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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A Medieval Christmas

A Medieval Christmas – An Evening of Gregorian Chanting


As the Christmas Season approaches, we wonder how to create those special, everlasting moments and memories..


Wonder no more – The Abbey Museum has you covered!

This Holiday Season, the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology is inviting you join in a captivating evening of Gregorian Chanting!

On Saturday the 26th November, starting at 6.30pm, you are invited to surround yourself in the soft candlelit ambience of the Abbey Church and listen to the breathtaking sounds of Schola Cantorum and their incredible Gregorian Chanting. Excite your senses as this wonderful group transports you back in time, before the advent of ‘amplifiers’ and ‘sound mixers’.

At the conclusion of the performance in the Church, Guests are invited to the Abbey Hall to enjoy a sumptuous light supper of Medieval Christmas delicacies!


Tickets cost: $30.00 per person!

Tickets are …

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Abbey Medieval Festival 2016

The Abbey Museum would like to once again invite you to the annual

Medieval Festival!

Come and see the brave Knights, gallant Lords, lovely Ladies, colourful Gypsies, amazing performers and re-enactors from the Medieval eras. With all new activities plus the timeless favourites, this is a day out, or weekend, not to be missed!


When: 9th and 10th July 2016

Where: “Abbeystowe” at  The Abbey Museum, Caboolture

Time: Gates open at 8:45am with the Grande Parade beginning at 9:30.

Tickets on sale VERY soon and subscribers will be the first to hear!

For more info, programs, photos galleries and tickets, visit out Festival website here.

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Tiny Treasures Exhibition

Come and view the Abbey Museum’s brand new temporary exhibition,

Tiny Treasures explores the world of high medieval dress accessories with a selection of buckles, brooches and other objects from a private collection right here in Queensland. Curated by Damien Fegan and Lincoln Morse, Tiny Treasures will be the first exhibition at the Abbey Museum in over four years! Don’t miss your chance to see these incredible artefacts on display together for the first time ever. Tiny Treasures will be on display in the main gallery from the first week of June until the very end of July.

Brooches, rings and belts were quintessential parts of everyday fashion in the late middle ages. Ask anyone on the street about medieval jewelry and they will tell about the great big and bulky pieces of metal strapped onto our ancestor’s clothes and hair. Popular TV shows like ‘Vikings’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ are responsible for these misconceptions, when in actuality many of the accessories worn during the middle ages were small, delicate objects.

Aside from being fashionable, these small …

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