Old potatoes, scary statues and a rude jug: anthropological museum returns with a vengeance
ISN’T a museum just a dusty building about the ancient past?
This is a question the Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology seeks to answer in advertising its first exhibition since a radical, �1.9 million refurbishment.
But it need not bother as it opens its doors to an incredibly-varied, impressive array of old, new, small, tall, sharp, hairy and rude artefacts.
In a vast exploration of life, death and sex through the age of man, the museum’s line-up includes a 14-metre high totem pole from British Columbia (its tallest item), the rodent-nibbled ankle bones of a Roman skeleton (its only item which inspired a Sylvia Plath poem) and, perhaps most importantly, a jug covered in ornate penises - some of them with chicken feet pulling naked women around on chariots (its rudest thing).
All in all, it is a veritable smorgasbord of anthropological insight, each item more interesting than the last.
From around the world and spanning two million years of history, the museum boasts around 1 million objects - only 1 per cent of which can be on display at any one time - but you can rest assured this exhibition will include a Viking ironing board, a rare Snakes and Ladders board and some freeze-dried potatoes from Ancient Peru.
“This refurbishment is about more than reopening the galleries. It represents our desire to be open in other ways,” said director Nicholas Thomas.
- 1 Family pleased with 'huge reaction' thanks to charity Christmas lights
- 2 Multiple emergency services at scene after B1098 crash
- 3 Man taken to hospital with serious injuries after B1098 crash
- 4 Isabella, 10, impresses to win top prize ahead of Whittlesey Extravaganza
- 5 Leslie transforms his life thanks to remarkable weight loss
- 6 Family escape 'devastating fire' that ripped through home
- 7 Cambridgeshire individual diagnosed with Covid-19 Omicron variant
- 8 Trainspotters catch Duchess of Sutherland whistling through Fens
- 9 Dental practice plan move to business park
- 10 House fire that killed two children will not have further electrical checks
“To be open about what we don’t know about some of our objects (are some fakes?); to invite the public in from the street via our new entrance, and to be open about the way in which many of our objects arrived here, which was a lot more ethical than many assume.”
The museum was founded in 1884 as a collaboration between town and gown in Cambridge.
The exhibition opens at the museum in Downing Street, Cambridge, on May 25.