In early 1900, a sponge diver diving off the coast of Antikythera – a small Greek island between Crete and the Peloponnese – discovered the remains of an ancient, wrecked cargo ship. Dated to between 200 and 100 BCE, amongst the ship’s surviving contents of bronze and marble sculptures was a curious piece of rock with an embedded gear wheel.
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On 20 August 2017 it was the 160th anniversary of New South Wales' worst maritime disaster, the sinking of the 'Dunbar'. On a pitch-dark rainy night with a gale blowing a total of 121 passengers and crew of the sailing ship, 'Dunbar', lost their lives not long after midnight.
Matthew Connell, was lead curator on Out of Hand. Here he discusses his approach to the exhibition with fellow MAAS curator Anni Turnbull. What is the exhibition about? It’s a look at the world of digital manufacturing and an acknowledgement that the digital world is now imposing itself on the material world in a way that breaks down a long standing dichotomy.
Yesterday I took a stroll along Sydney's newest pedestrian walkway, The Goods Line. It opened last Sunday (30 August 2015) and goes from the Ultimo Road railway bridge to the Museum's new entrance in Macarthur Street, Ultimo, an inner Sydney suburb.
It was both poignant and fitting that National Archaeology Week coincides with the dreadful news that Palmyra (Tadmor) in Syria - the ancient oasis city of the desert that nearly two thousand years ago was the western fulcrum of the Silk Road - is under threat of destruction.
In 1944 when Morry Isenberg discovered nine coins lying in the sand on the island of Marchinbar in the Northern Territory, little would he have imagined they would lead to explosive claims about Australia’s early global connections and, nearly 70 years after this chance encounter, provide the motivation for an international expedition.
Archaeology and the Powerhouse Museum go back a long way. The most obvious examples are exhibitions focussing on archaeological material including '1000 Years of the Olympic Games', 'The Great Wall of China', and the recent, 'Spirit of Jang-in' from Korea.
I’ve recently returned from the 2013 Spring Season excavations at the South Tombs Cemetery in Tell el-Amarna, Middle Egypt. Tell el-Amarna, or more simply Amarna, is the ancient Egyptian city built by the ‘heretic’ King Akhenaten, husband of Queen Nefertiti, in c.
There is currently great excitement in London as evidence of Roman lives - wonderfully preserved in the London mud - are being extracted by archaeologists. Among the material are hundreds of Roman shoes, jewellery, waxed wooden writing tablets with their writing styli, jewellery, cosmetic tools, part of the Temple of Mithras and of course, pottery galore.
In addition to being beautiful, decorated ancient Greek pots are ‘windows to the past'. Their painted designs could vary from everyday scenes of people at work and play, to gods and heroes playing out the myths that provided lessons on how to conduct a righteous life .
Recently we were doing the final proofs for a new book about the issues of long term preservation of digital information. I came across a discrepancy in two separate entries on the same object that introduced its own issue about information preservation.
I have just returned from Cairo after a tumultuous few days caught up in the demonstrations in Egypt. I was meant to be there for 6 weeks undertaking research for my PhD before leading an independent 24-day tour of Egypt, “From Alexandria to Abu Simbel” for Alumni Travel in Sydney.