Paper masks

The oriental origin of paper

The history of paper.

Often it is the simple things that we take for granted that make all of the difference to history, and one of them is paper. How many sheets containing written information are on your desk, in your house or even in your bag?  Then there is all of the other uses we put paper to in our lives, cleaning, ticketing, containing, wrapping; the list (on paper of course) is nearly endless.  It is one of the inventions that made its way from China to the West via the amazing conduit of ideas, ideal and objects:  The Silk Road.

In the ancient and medieval world the paperless office was a real thing. Papyrus, as used by the ancient Egyptians, was nearly paper…sort of! The big problem with papyrus is that it is fragile, and the older it gets the more fragile it becomes, making it unsuited for long term storage of writings, which is presumably why it never replaced parchment in Europe. Other cultures used strips of bamboo or timber (China, India), bark (Russia and Meso-America) …

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Kids Dig it at the Abbey Museum in the School Holidays www.abbeymuseum.com.au

Kids Dig the Abbey Museum in school holidays

School holidays at the Abbey Museum are always fun. The whole place comes alive with the sounds of excited young children digging up the past and exploring history. This September our young visitors have become archaeologist and excavated a mini dig site filled with treasures from ancient Egypt. They have uncovered canopic jars that once held internal organs, little shabti statuettes, plates decorated with lotus blossom and amulets. The more active have enjoyed the ever popular archery and for the investigative types there is archaeology in the lab where they have been identifying coins, dissecting coprolites and reconstituting pottery shards to identify the original urn or jar.

 

In the Museum dressing up as an ancient Egyptian or Roman provides parents with great photo opportunities. There are games, arts and craft activates including making a Greek drama masks, and mythological characters such as Medusa, Poseidon and Apollo. The figure of Venus is by far the most popular.

 

It is great to get positive feedback from the parents that the Museum is …

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