DURHAM University has welcomed an exhibition featuring an internationally significant collection of Roman artefacts to its Museum of Archaeology.

Picturing the Romans: Daily Life through Tableware, which has been created by students from the University’s Masters in Museum and Artefact Studies course, is one of the first student exhibitions to welcome visitors in person since the start of the pandemic.

The exhibition explores aspects of Roman daily life such as military life, food preparation, gods and leisure activities, but centrally important is the Roman Samian pottery produced nearly two millennia ago from 100 to 300 AD.

Gemma Lewis, Curator of the Museum of Archaeology, said “It is wonderful to be able to showcase once again the work of our students at the Museum of Archaeology.

“The exhibition is based on the internationally important Oswald-Plique collection of Roman Samian Ware pottery from Gaul (present day France and Germany), which contains over 4500 fragments, but is added to by other objects from the collection to create a visual story that brings everyday Roman life to the public.

“At the core though is the pottery that formed the personal collection of Felix Oswald, one of the leading early figures in Samian pottery studies.”

Some of the objects included in the exhibition are on public display for the first time. It also features items from the Roman Piercebridge collection, which is comprised of objects made from metal, such as cutlery and military equipment, and a large highly decorated Samian Ware bowl.

The Museum of Archaeology, which sits at the heart of the World Heritage Site at the Palace Green Library, has collections ranging from the prehistoric to the post-medieval. As well as the student exhibition, visitors can discover more about Prehistoric and Roman Archaeology in a temporary exhibition.

Visitors to the museum will also get to see spectacular metalwork from the Bronze Age, Roman treasures retrieved from a murky riverbed, and the cremated remains of Durham City’s earliest known resident.

It is open Monday-Sunday, 10am to 5pm and entry is free. Picturing the Romans: Daily Life through Tableware exhibition will run until October 2022.

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