A scene from Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazousae.  Apulian red-figure krater, artist unknown; ca. 370 BCE.  Now in the Martin von Wagner Museum,

Würzburg, Germany.

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Hamer Hill Neolithic or Early Bronze Age Stone Circle or Ring Cairn 2, Hamer Hill and Rooley Moor, Rochdale, Greater Manchester.

This is a tricky one; to the untrained eye it is likely to be missed but here there is a ring cairn with an outer ring of stones about 30m in diameter and probably Bronze Age according to early surveys. Hopefully on the first image you can see the oval of the cairn as it goes from the left of the image. The central cairn is excavated, flooded and overgrown with long grasses.


Aphrodite from the East Pediment of the Parthenon. British Museum.


This small pottery mold in Glencairn’s ancient Egyptian collection was used to produce faience amulets in the form of the healed eye of the god Horus (wedjat). Wedjat amulets were extremely popular in Egypt, and were worn as jewelry in order to promote health. 


“Bird-face" female figurines of this type, made from terra-cotta and carrying infants, date to the Late Bronze Age period on Cyprus. They are associated with Astarte, the Phoenician goddess of love, and may have served as fertility charms to ensure success in childbearing and childrearing. The large ears are pierced for earrings.


Today Eva Miller from Oxford University is working in Glencairn’s Ancient Near East collection, digitally imaging our cuneiform tablets, foundation cones, and a large foundation cylinder describing Nebuchadnezzar’s rebuilding of the walls of Babylon. The Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative is creating an open access database of cuneiform texts in collections around the world. Tomorrow Eva heads to New Haven to digitize Yale University’s Babylonian collection. Both scholars and the public have access to this important resource. More information here:


This inscribed terra-cotta cylinder describes King Nebuchadnezzar’s rebuilding of Babylon, especially its famous walls and temples. It also offers a prayer that Nebuchadnezzar be granted long life and other blessings in return for his piety. (Neo-Babylonian, 604-562 BC, in the Ancient Near East Gallery)


An Assyrian winged “genius” (benevolent spirit) in Glencairn Museum’s Ancient Near East Gallery extends his hands in a protective gesture toward a sacred tree. His divine status is indicated by his wings and his horned headdress. The cuneiform inscription below the figure is a propagandistic statement glorifying the Assyrian king. This relief, carved from gypseous limestone, is from the Northwest Palace of Assurnasirpal II (883-858 BC) in Nimrud, Iraq.


This clay plaque in Glencairn’s Ancient Near East Gallery depicts a winged, griffin-headed apkallu (genie or guardian spirit) holding a staff. Believed to protect a building and its inhabitants from evil and illness, one example of this type was found in the city of Assur beneath the incantation priest’s house. (Neo-Assyrian, c. 900-700 BC)