Exploring the Aegean World at the Ashmolean

On Friday 4th February, the Year Eight Latin classes visited the Ashmolean to explore the Aegean World Gallery. Last term, the groups learned about the Minoans and Mycenaeans, and how the English archaeologist Arthur Evans excavated these Bronze Age sites. We looked at many of the fascinating finds he donated to the Ashmolean.

The trip was an opportunity to see some of the many items we looked at in lessons, ranging from artistically decorated Minoan pottery with its sea life and floral motifs, such as drinking cups and oil lamps, to intricately detailed seal stones.

We also saw burial coffins, “larnaxes”, and the very large storage jars called “pithoi”. Everyone enjoyed the reconstructions of frescoes, Linear B tablets, a throne, and found a range of bronze tools and weapons. We saw a water pipe that had been part of a drainage and water supply system created by the Minoans.

The students completed a trail booklet and spent about 45 minutes in the gallery. We then were able to spent our last ten minutes looking at some of the beautiful red-and black figure pottery, sculptures, inscriptions and other items in the Greece gallery next door.

We are very grateful to the Ashmolean for welcoming us and enabling the group to explore such a range of objects from these fascinating ancient civilisations.

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