The pace of work is really hotting up now that we’ve entered the last few weeks leading up to the opening of Ancient Worlds on 25th October. As well as checking proofs of the text and the layouts of the displays, we have been taking delivery of loan objects for the new displays and gathering in objects that, in some cases, have only recently been excavated.
The photo above shows a fragmentary Roman samian bowl that was found on the former Tom Garner Motors site at the junction of Great Jackson Street and Chester Road. It was found with a rather nice Roman altar dedicated to the Mother Goddesses back in 2008. The altar is on display in the Museum’s Manchester Gallery. The kind people at Pre-Construct Archaeology kindly got the pot to us, together with a flagon, about ten days ago. They are being worked on by two conservation students who are doing a placement with the Museum, Shiree Roberts and Gabby Flexer from University College London and the University of Durham respectively. Both are studying for a Masters in conservation.
The next photo shows the pot reconstructed.
When I called in earlier today to check on progress Shiree was busy in-filling joins and matching the in-fill to the colour of the samian bowl.
It’s a work of art as much as it is a science and you really have to take your hat to the dedicated students who come and work on placements here and make the material presentable to the general public.
The Roman altar was found by Sarah Duffy of Bolton who was working for Pre-Construct Archaeology on what was only her second dig. It would be great if we could establish contact with Sarah to record an interview about what it was like to discover these Roman antiquities. If you’re out there Sarah and reading this do please contact us at the Manchester Museum.