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salisbury

A Quick Guide to the History of Salisbury, England

The moment I sunk into the warm mismatched chairs at The Haunch of Venison, I knew that Salisbury was a special place. Sitting down for a hearty meal of soup, bread, and beer in a city so old makes modern problems seem trivial. My thoughts were not on myself, but rather on who was there before me.

Did a 14th-century traveller once warm himself by the same fire? Who knows, but my imagination was ignited. Welcome to a tour of the quintessentially English city of Salisbury.

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Ankara’s Cuirassed Statue of Hadrian

Hadrian and his travels have often served as the guiding thread for my own travels. However, my recent trip to Turkey had a different focus, the Hittite civilization, with one of the highlights being a visit to the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. After dazzling at the magnificent artifacts on display on the main floor of the museum, I discovered that there was also a section dedicated to the Roman period in Ancyra which featured, to my big surprise, parts of a statue of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

The Roman Theatre of Ancyra, beginning of the 2nd century AD, Ankara. Photo © Carole Raddato.

The Roman Theatre of Ancyra, beginning of the 2nd century AD, Ankara. Photo © Carole Raddato.

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The Merovingians in Paris

The Merovingian kingdoms were arguably the most important polities to emerge after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, blending Gallo-Roman art and culture with Germanic Frankish customs. In a new landmark exhibition at the Musée de Cluny in Paris, France — Merovingian Times: Three Centuries of Art and Culture — the grandeur, power, and artistic brilliance of the Merovingian rulers and their subjects is unmasked and reassessed. In this exclusive English language interview James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks to Isabelle Bardiès-Fronty, Chief Conservator at the Musée de Cluny, about the exhibition as well as the legacy of the Merovingians in France.

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Herculaneum: Villa of the Papyri

At a lecture hosted by the Friends of ANU Classics Museum (Canberra, Australia) in September, I learnt about the Villa of the Papyri.

Imagine a villa so big that parts of it haven’t been uncovered yet and big enough to house over 90 sculptures and other artefacts. This villa can be found in what was once the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum, and today is in a half-excavated dig site near the Gulf of Naples.

villa-of-the-papyri-plan

Rough floor plan of the Villa of Papyri. Drawn by Karl Weber.

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Artistic Creativity in Six Dynasties China

The Six Dynasties period from the third to sixth centuries CE was one of the most dynamic periods in Chinese art history, akin to the European Renaissance in the impact it had on artistic creativity and the celebration of individual expression. Art in a Time of Chaos: Masterworks from Six Dynasties China, 3rd-6th Centuries, now on show at the China Institute in New York, New York, situates these innovations and achievements from both the Southern and Northern Dynasties across four major disciplines: Ceramics, sculpture, calligraphy, and painting. In this exclusive interview, James Blake Wiener of Ancient History Encyclopedia (AHE) speaks to Ms. Willow Weilan Hai, Director of the China Institute Gallery, about the exhibition.

Celadon Double-Rim, Lidded Jar with Underglaze Decoration. Three Kingdoms period, Wu kingdom (222–280 CE). Glazed porcelain; H. (total) 11 7/8 in., D. (at mouth) 5 7/8 in., D. (at belly) 13 in., D. (at base) 7 5/8 in. Unearthed in 2004 from the construction site of Huangce Jiayuan on Xianhe Street in Nanjing Collection of the Nanjing Municipal Museum.

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Discovering Tutankhamun at the Ashmolean Museum

This is a review of an old exhibition tucked away unobtrusively at the back of Oxford’s Sackler Library. The Griffith Institute of Egyptology is the home of the complete Howard Carter archives, documenting the discovery and ten-year excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun. In 2014 the Institute celebrated its 75th anniversary, and so the Ashmolean’s hosted an exhibition, Discovering Tutankhamun, that explored the excavation and its aftermath using material from the Griffith’s archives.

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Museum Exhibitions January 2017

Every month, Ancient History Encyclopedia will share news about select museum exhibitions and events of interest to our global audience via AHetc. Exhibitions are arranged in alphabetical order by geographical location and region within this post: the Americas, United Kingdom, Europe/Middle East, and East Asia/Oceania. Here is a taste of what is on show at major museums around the world in January 2017:

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