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Thinking with Things: The Oxford Collection

Updated 4 days ago

Education
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History
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Ever since it was founded in 1683, the Ashmolean Museum has been a place where academics and researchers come to study and be inspired by the collections.Take a closer look at the Ashmolean's hidden treasures from the viewpoint of the experts. Academics from across the University of Oxford have chosen an object that relates to their research, revealing a whole world of ideas behind a single artefact. We hope that these specially curated podcasts, created by some of the University of Oxford's greatest minds, will encourage you to seek out your own hidden treasure in our vast collection.Visit the Ashmolean collection and look out for the purple podcast leaflet and signage in the gallery to find the associated objects. We are enormously grateful to Professor Raymond Dwek, CBE, FRS for his generous support of this new podcast project.

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Ever since it was founded in 1683, the Ashmolean Museum has been a place where academics and researchers come to study and be inspired by the collections.Take a closer look at the Ashmolean's hidden treasures from the viewpoint of the experts. Academics from across the University of Oxford have chosen an object that relates to their research, revealing a whole world of ideas behind a single artefact. We hope that these specially curated podcasts, created by some of the University of Oxford's greatest minds, will encourage you to seek out your own hidden treasure in our vast collection.Visit the Ashmolean collection and look out for the purple podcast leaflet and signage in the gallery to find the associated objects. We are enormously grateful to Professor Raymond Dwek, CBE, FRS for his generous support of this new podcast project.

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Cover image of Thinking with Things: The Oxford Collection

Thinking with Things: The Oxford Collection

Updated 4 days ago

Read more

Ever since it was founded in 1683, the Ashmolean Museum has been a place where academics and researchers come to study and be inspired by the collections.Take a closer look at the Ashmolean's hidden treasures from the viewpoint of the experts. Academics from across the University of Oxford have chosen an object that relates to their research, revealing a whole world of ideas behind a single artefact. We hope that these specially curated podcasts, created by some of the University of Oxford's greatest minds, will encourage you to seek out your own hidden treasure in our vast collection.Visit the Ashmolean collection and look out for the purple podcast leaflet and signage in the gallery to find the associated objects. We are enormously grateful to Professor Raymond Dwek, CBE, FRS for his generous support of this new podcast project.

Rank #1: Lion Statue

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On whether there were ever lions in Egypt. Today, there are no lions roaming wild in north Africa, but evidence from ancient Egypt suggests that lions once did. Could this Egyptian pottery lion, dated to 2,325 – 2,175 BC provide clues to what the north African lion might have looked like? Professor David Whyte Macdonald, Wildlife Conservation, University of Oxford. Object number: AN1896–1908E.189

Jan 23 2017

3mins

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Rank #2: Henry VIII Renaissance Medal

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On Henry VIII and the Founding of the Church of England Minted at London in 1545, this medal shows a bust of Henry VIII, with inscriptions in Hebrew and Greek on the reverse. As a consequence of Henry’s break with Rome in 1533, he claimed to be 'Supreme head of Church of England.' With Rev. Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch, History of the Church, University of Oxford. Object number: HCR6591

Jan 23 2017

3mins

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Rank #3: Meissen porcelain chocolate cup and tea bowl

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On arranged marriages among royalty. How does porcelain represent a royal marriage? When Maria Amalia of Saxony married Carlo, King of the Two Sicilies, in 1738, she brought Meissen porcelain with her to Naples. Her grandfather had founded the first European porcelain factory in 1710 and the Saxon court often presented porcelain to ambassadors and others who helped them to broker strategic political marriages. With Professor Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly, German Literature, University of Oxford. Object number: WA1977.246-7.

Jan 23 2017

2mins

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Rank #4: Arab robe worn by T. E. Lawrence

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On Lawrence of Arabia and wearing Arab robes. T. E. Lawrence, or Lawrence of Arabia was infamous for his scruffy appearance when in the British Khaki uniform, and wore it as little as possible. However, Lawrence took on quite a different guise when his friend King Faisal of Iraq suggested he dress in his set of Arab wedding clothes. With Professor Eugene Rogan, Modern Middle Eastern History, University of Oxford. Object number: EA1965.176.

Jan 23 2017

3mins

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Rank #5: Tombstone of a Muslim girl

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On what were people’s feelings about death and the dead in North Africa a thousand years ago? What does this tombstone tell us? With Professor Julia Bray, Arabic, University of Oxford. Object number: EA2006.21

Jan 23 2017

3mins

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