Friday, August 28, 2020

Yorkshire Museum reopens!

 The Yorkshire Museum in York, England, originally opened in 1830, has reopened to the public once more after its pandemic closure in March.  Its permanent collections  include archaeological remains, numismatics, astronomy, biology, and geology and objects on display are a selection of artifacts from its almost a million objects dating as far back as 500,000 BCE.  One of its permanent exhibits is "Roman York - Meet the People of the Empire."  A statue of the Roman God Mars is prominently displayed, and there is an interactive display describing the lives of some of the Romans whose remains have been found in York. The final record of the famous lost Roman legion, the Ninth Legion, is on display as part of the Roman gallery. The stone inscription, which has been dated to Trajan's twelfth year as emperor, between 10 December 107 and 9 December 108, commemorates the legion's rebuilding in stone of the south-eastern wall of Eboracum's legionary fortress.

I had the privilege of exploring the Yorkshire Museum back in 2006 when I attended an exhibition about Constantine.  Unfortunately, at the time photography was not allowed.  However, that policy has since been rescinded and now Wikimedia Commons has a wonderful selection of images of the Yorkshire Museum's collections from the museum itself as well as from visitors. 

Some of the objects I found particularly interesting are attached.  Most images are courtesy of the York Museums Trust except for a few by Carole Raddato which I have indicated in their captions.

Anglian helmet 8th century CE at the Yorkshire Museum in York, England courtesy of the York Museums Trust

Face urn thought to possibly depict Caracalla 200-300 CE courtesy of the York Museums Trust

Figurine of a Roman soldier at the Yorkshire Museum courtesy of Carole Raddato

Roman mosaic payment at the Yorkshire Museum courtesy of Carole Raddato

Roman Ophiotaurus mosaic pavement at the Yorkshire Museum courtesy of Carole Raddato

Roman relief at the Yorkshire Museum courtesy of Carole Raddato

Statue of a female deity or woman Roman 1st century BCE - 1st century CE courtesy of the York Museum Trust

Votive statue of Arimanes, Mithraic god of Evil, Roman, 43 - 410 CE. Male figure, winged and naked except for a fringed loin-cloth tied with a knotted snake; in his left hand he carries a pair of keys, and in his right hand he grasped a sceptre. A notch is cut between the feet.... VOL(VSIVS) IRE[NAEVS D(ONVM) [D(EDIT) ARIMANI V(OTVM) [S(OLVENS L(IBENS) M(ERITO) 'Volusius Irenaeus, paying his vow willingly and deservedly to Arimanes, gave (this) gift.' The dedication is to Arimanius, the Mithraic god of Evil. The missing head was most probably that of a lion, symbolic of all-devouring Death. The snake girdle represents the tortuous course of the sun though the sky; the wings signify the winds; while the keys are those of the heavens and the sceptre is the sign of dominion. - Yorkshire Museum

Tombstone of Flavia Augustina with her two sons who actually died before the age of 2 but are represented as older children. She is accompanied by her legionary husband who commissioned the tombstone. Image courtesy of the York Museums Trust. Inscription: D(IS) M(ANIBVS) FLAVIAE AVGVSTINAE; VIXIT AN(ANOS) XXXVIIII M(ENSES) VII D(IES) XI FILIVS; S...NIVS AVGVSTINVS VIXIT AN(NVM) I D(IES) III; ..... VIXIT AN(NUM) I M(ENSES) VIIII D(IES) V CAERESIVS; ....INVS VET(ERANVS) LEG(IONIS) VI VIC(TRICIS) CONIVGI CARI; SSIMAE ET SIBI F(ACIVNDVM) C(VRAVIT) 'To the spirits of the departed. To Flavia Augstina. She lived 39 years, 7 months, 11 days. Her son, ...nius Augustinus, lived 1 year 3 days, .... lived 1 year, 9 months, 5 days. Caeresius [August]inus, veteran of the Sixth Legion Victorius, has (this stone) made for his dearest wife and himself.'

Tombstone of Julia Velva whose head, with hair parted in the middle, and torso are alone visible, reclines on a couch and props her head on her left arm, which rests on a cushion. She holds a wine jar in her right hand. The couch has a very thick mattress, high sides and legs nobbed at the top but otherwise plain. In front of the couch, left to right, are shown a young girl seated on a basket chair and clasping a pet bird, a three-legged table on which are dishes are food, a boy standing with his right hand on the table and holding a jug in his left, while Aurelius Mercurialis, bearded, stands in front of a larger table with claw feet, and holds a scroll in his right hand. Found in 1922, in making Abermarle Road, 15 yds from The Mount. D(IS) M(ANIBVS) IVLIE VELVE PIENTISSI ME VIXIT AN(NOS) L AVREL(IVS) MERVRIALIS HER(ES) FACI VNDVM CVRAVIT VIVVS SIBI ET SVIS FECIT "To the spirits of the departed and to Julia Velva. She lived 50 years, most dutifully. Auelius Mercurialis, her heir, had (this tombstone) made. He made it while alive for himself and his family." Image courtesy of the York Museums Trust.

Anglian finger ring, gold, 410-866 CE, courtesy of the York Museums Trust

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