New Memories made at the Great North Museum

We held our last two workshops at the Great North Museum in Newcastle on 9 and 10 May.  Our deepest thanks go to Alex Boyd for making us feel so welcome, and especially to Andrew Parkin for all his help.

Andrew showed us around the Museum’s extensive collection of Roman objects with a Middle Eastern or North African connection.

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Andrew also made available a range of different Roman objects that we could use in the workshops.

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We were allowed to handle these for closer inspection – provided we were careful!

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As at our workshops in the Petrie Museum in London, participants had the chance to explore how best to light and photograph these objects, under the guidance of Rory Carnegie, our professional photographer.

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People also enjoyed drawing these objects, and others in the Museum’s collections, helped by our artist, Miranda Creswell.  Many used silver leaf to enhance their pictures.

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Participants were also inspired to write about objects, with the assistance of Sarah Ekdawi. Sometimes they described memories evoked by the objects, or they imagined how the objects themselves might feel about taking part in the workshops. We also experimented with the use of thin metal foil that could be embossed with images and words  – with or without the help of a mirror!

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All the participants could take home with them the drawings, photographs, writings, and memories that they created.  With their permission, we have posted copies of their creations on our Gallery page.

We are very grateful to the Great North Museum, and the Petrie Museum, for being such welcoming and generous hosts. We are particularly grateful to everyone who came along and participated in our workshops. They all said how much they enjoyed themselves, and we have certainly been impressed by the quality and range of works that they were inspired to create. We are thinking about how we can preserve all these creations more permanently and accessibly – please watch this space!

Syrian Archers on Hadrian’s Wall

The Roman army recruited Syrians because of their specialist archery skills. One such unit was based on Hadrian’s Wall not long after it was built. They continued to worship Syrian goddesses while they were in Britain. It looks like the unit was still here 300 years later, when Roman rule ended. This relief, which is in the Great North Museum, shows a Hamian archer holding his bow in his left hand.

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For a memorable encounter with this little known example of shared history, come to one of our free relaxed workshops on 9 or 10 May at the Great North Museum in Newcastle. Come along on the day or book your place in advance by emailing us at: rememberingromans@gmail.com

Read more about Syrian archers in Britain on these websites:

http://www.romanarmy.net/images/Pages/Military/hamians.htm

http://www.caerleon.net/history/army/archers.html