Octopus jar from Knossos - discussed in the Talking Memory event

Led by Dr Jim Harris, Teaching Curator, Alexis Gorby, DPhil student School of Archaeology, and the Ashmolean Public Engagement Research Associates

Cathy O’Brien, a DPhil researcher at the School of Archaeology

For over-65s

Meet at the Ashmolean Museum main entrance, plus gallery tours and tea and cake

Join Cathy O’Brien, a DPhil researcher at the School of Archaeology, as we delve into the ancient Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations through the octopus jar found at the Palace of Minos at Knossos.

We’ll ponder the ways we remember and re-imagine the past, how we store memories, and the role of materials in learning. Afterwards we will dig into our own stored memories and make our own decorative clay jars.

Part of the Talking Memory workshops series running 19 May to 23 June 2022.


Admission is FREE

Although the workshops take place in accessible parts of the Ashmolean, please let us know when booking of any special requirements or food allergies.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact


Talking Memory is a series of six afternoon events for older visitors (65+) exploring the theme of memory and reminiscence using objects from the Museum’s collections, new research from Oxford University, creative engagement…and tea.

The workshops run between 19 May and 23 June.

Each workshop will start in the public galleries, with a short talk and discussion focused on one object and led by an Oxford researcher. We will continue the conversation over tea and cake, taking time to meet other group members, before we go to make
our own versions of the objects we have seen and heard about.

The events are free, including refreshments and materials for the art activities, but booking is required as space is limited.

No previous artistic experience is required, coffee is available as well as tea, and everyone 65+ is welcome.

You may sign up for a single event or as many as you wish.

TALKING MEMORY 19 MAY: Medieval carved wooden angel

TALKING MEMORY 26 MAY: 17th-century Holy Land souvenir

TALKING MEMORY 2 JUNE: Medieval rune stone

TALKING MEMORY 9 JUNE: 18th-century portrait miniature

TALKING MEMORY 23 JUNE: Roman coin of Emperor Domitianus

This series of events is generously supported by TORCH, as part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, and the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund, as part of Oxford’s PER Seed Fund.