Thursday, 31 January 2013

Ashmolean Museum in Oxford acquires Renaissance silverware

A stunning collection of Renaissance silverware worth tens of millions of pounds has been bequeathed to Oxford University's Ashmolean Museum.
The haul of nearly 500 items, described as the most important gift to a British museum for over a century, was donated by the late collector Michael Wellby.
The collection includes a rare lapis lazuli bowl, made by Dutch goldsmith Paulus van Vianen, valued at £3m.
A selection of the objects will go on temporary display from next month.
They will be housed in the museum's West Meets East gallery before the entire collection is showcased in a permanent gallery.

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You might also be interested in this course: Treasures of the "Ashmolean Museum" 

Further deatails...

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Skeleton of Richard III may have been found -- but where will it end up?

A stained glass window at Cardiff Castle depicts King Richard III and Queen Anne Neville. (University of Leicester)

Archaeologists may have uncovered the skeleton of the lost English king Richard III. But if they have, what should be done with the remains?

That question is causing contention among Richard III enthusiasts, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal. The University of Leicester, which is overseeing the excavation and analysis of the remains, has jurisdiction over the remains, but various societies dedicated to the king have their own opinions.

Two groups, the U.S.-based Richard III Foundation and the Society of Friends of Richard III based in York, England, argue that the remains should be reburied in York, because Richard III was fond of that city, the Journal reported. The Richard III Society, which has been involved with the archaeological dig in Leicester that uncovered the remains, is officially neutral — a stance which itself has triggered anger.

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You may also be interested in this summer school course about Richard III:

The Life and Times of Richard III

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Unlocking secrets from Jane Austen's Steventon home

The dig unearthed the foundations and objects from the site of Steventon Rectory

Finds from an archaeological dig at the birthplace of Jane Austen are beginning to reveal details of the author's early home life.

Volunteers excavated the field in Steventon in the Hampshire countryside in 2011 where the village's old rectory once stood.

The process of cleaning and interpreting the finds has yielded a clearer idea of what the house looked like and even what the family ate their meals off. 

Austen was born in the village where her father was rector in 1775, and lived there for 25 years. It was there she drafted stories which were eventually published as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

The house was demolished soon after her family moved to Bath.

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