Reflections on a Red-Headed Augustus

I pass by a copy of the Augustus of Prima Porta every time I go to work at the museum.

Copy in the Allard Pierson Museum, Amsterdam (photo by me 2015)


I distinctly remember the first time I saw one of these reconstructions in person. It was in 2011 at the Vatican Museum. I was smug because up until that point my friends hadn’t believed me when I said that Augustus had been a red-head.

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News: Sarcophagi Found in Rome

Archaeological investigations in Rome have uncovered two sarcophagi near the Olympic Stadium. Both are small and are believed to have belonged to children. One is decorated in a rich bas-relief and the other is more “somber.” Initial investigation has dated them both to the 3-4th century, although, it is noted, more study is needed.

The story can be found here, along with some photos of the documentation and extraction of a sarcophagus (one included below).

Photo credit:

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2 Monuments from Smyrna

Alas, despite the fact that I vowed to blog more regularly, it has, in fact, been 3 months since my last update.

This year has been very busy. For work and research, I’ve travelled to many museums: from Budapest to Dublin! Now, my goal is is to work on drawing connections between these various collections. Hopefully, doing this will leading to interesting questions (and maybe answers?!) about the pieces and collections that I’ve seen.

First, I’d like to start with two monuments from Smyrna, Asia Minor (modern day Turkey)…

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Long time no see

The past few months have been pretty chaotic—I’ve done a lot of traveling, had many deadlines, and have made some major research breakthroughs. All throughout that, I’ve thought–hey, put it on your blog! But, I haven’t.

So, for the next few weeks I will be reading back through notes I’ve taken on my phone, photos I’ve taken, and books I’ve read to report back on some of the more interesting Museum Archaeology stories I’ve come across.

Hopefully, it won’t be another 3 months before it actually happens.

Stay tuned!

New Zeugma Mosaic Museum Website

If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably interested in museums and archaeology. Well, today the Zeugma Mosaic Museum–one of the largest collections of mosaics (and other artifacts)–officially has a new website where you can explore the history of the site, take a 3D tour of the museum, and explore the collection!.

You can visit it here:

I’m planning on taking advantage of the site to research few pieces about which I haven’t yet been able to find information. However, I’m also super excited to just take a tour around the site to learn all there is to learn.



4 Non-Threatening Archaeology Topics to Discuss at Thanksgiving

Today, for many American-type people, is a very special day. A time to give thanks and spend time with loved ones. However, many people are currently worried about spending thanksgiving with members of their family who may have different political choices earlier this month (i.e. voted for Trump). This is such a concern that many people are choosing not to attend their family’s thanksgiving, opting instead for a less traditional “friendsgiving.” Or, like this parody advertisement, they are planning to take regular breaks.

To avoid more sensitive topics, why not add some archaeological discussion to the meal! Here are 5 archaeological(ly related) topics to discuss with your friends and family this holiday.

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Some Thoughts On the Term “Fake”

A previous post of mine used the term “fake” in the title. It seems to me that this is a good opening to segue into a discussion about the terminology with which we discuss dodgy objects. This is currently a challenge for me in my research, since not all objects with secondary or tertiary histories (like the sculpture in the previous post) can or should be considered “fake.” In fact, I find that the term “fake” is problematic because it, like “forgery,” brings negative connotations associated with purposeful deception, and not all cases fall under this category.

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