Department of Antiquities

  Ancient Cyprus Introduction link

Ancient Cyprus in the Ashmolean Museum

Ashmolean Presentation

Ancient Cyprus: The Documentation Project


Between 2001-2002, the Museum conducted a collections audit of the Ancient Cyprus collections and created an electronic database of the material, including digital images. The purpose of the project was twofold: to improve the care and management of the collections, and to increase public access to the material. The project was funded by Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) , and was part of a broader two-year documentation project carried out by all five curatorial departments of the Ashmolean.

  Rachel, Julia, Julie, Su + Susanne, Susanne

Projects cannot be completed by money alone, and the success of this undertaking is the direct result of a great deal of hard work by many individuals.

  • Jonathan Moffett, ITC Manager for the Museum, directed the Museum-wide project.
  • Julia Allen, Personnel Officer for the Museum, administered the Museum-wide project.
  • Alison Roberts, Collections Manger for the Department of Antiquities, managed the Ancient Cyprus documentation project.
  • Rachel Mellor, DCF Museum Assistant for the Department of Antiquities, did most of the work for the project including conducting the collections audit, repacking the collections, entering accessions information onto the documentation database, and supervising volunteers. She also authored the 'Female Figurines' web tour.
  • Julie Clements, Photographic Officer and Assistant Secretary for the Department of Antiquities, completed the initial gallery list and provided a wealth of practical information ranging from the historic documentation of the collections to the vagaries of the display case locks.
  • Nancy O'Brien-Stuart, Digital Photographer, was responsible for taking images of all the key items in the collection. Her patience and skill is attested by the images of Cypriot objects that you see on these web pages and in the Object Seeker.
  • Susan Sherratt, Arthur Evans Archivist for the Ashmolean Museum, wrote the 'Prehistoric Terracottas' web tour, and provided advice on both prehistoric Cyprus and the collectors of the material held by the Ashmolean.
  • Susanne Bangert wrote the 'Mass-market tableware', 'Intriguing Vessels', 'Cypriot Jewellery!' and 'Sgraffito ware' web-tours, and provided advice and practical assistance regarding the Roman and Byzantine collections. She also redisplayed the jewellery in the Myres Gallery in the pre-2009 redevelopment.
  • Markus Pavlovic, an intern from the University of Cologne in Germany, assisted with every aspect of the project during the autumn of 2002. Most significantly, he assessed, archived and catalogued the excavation diaries and site photographs of the archaeologist J Arthur R Munro who worked in Cyprus, Montenegro, Albania and Asia Minor during the late 19th century. Markus's work showed that the value of the archive was far beyond the scope of the present project, and it is awaiting more detailed research.
  • Elise and HelenaLaura Phillips, an intern from the Oxford Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Archaeology course, conducted the final collections audit of the material on display in the Ancient Cyprus Gallery in Spring 2003. She also wrote the 'Cypriot Copper' web tour.
  • We are also grateful for the invaluable assistance of several other people without whose efforts this project would not have been completed. In alphabetic order, we would like to thank Eleanor Bell, Sarah Bell, Rachel Boak, Tom Hardwick, Matthew Mellor, and Cath Price.
  • Elise and Helene Bangert (right) advised us on making the collections accessible and interesting for younger audiences

We would also like to thank all of our colleagues who have put up with the disruption which the project caused, answered numerous questions, and provided advice on specific aspects of the collections. Special thanks are due to the following individuals Michael Vickers (Hellenistic and Classical archaeology); Helen Whitehouse (Egyptian archaeology), Arthur MacGregor (Medieval archaeology), and Henry Kim (Coins).

Conservation DepartmentThe Department of Conservation is to be congratulated for their forbearance and good humour in the face of the string of unexpected problems that the detailed examination of the reserve collections revealed during the course of the project.

Last, but by no means least, Roger Moorey, former Keeper of the Department of Antiquities and curator with responsibility for the Ancient Near East and Ancient Cypriot collections, provided constant academic and moral support throughout. It was the sad prospect of his retirement in September 2002 that provided the necessity for this project.

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Ancient Cyprus Introduction