Ashmolean is University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology, founded in 1683. Is free to visit and is worth visiting it.
If you want to see more about their special exhibitions and details about the museum, you can check the website.
The museum hosts many fascinating artefacts and I picked a few to show in this post.
On the right is a 3D construction made using CT scans of the mummy on the left. It is made with ink drawing on 111 sheets of glass. It was a 3 year old boy and seeing him like this made an impact, it seems more real than the mummy. It is a wonderful display.
These are two statues of Emperor Augustus, from around 20 BCE. The statues would have been painted and this is recreated in the second statue. It looks so different and it is intriguing to see it as it would have looked 2,000+ years ago. Augustus’ statue was discovered in 1863 and, at that time, it retained a few of the colours it would have been painted with. For the reconstruction the original pigments were recreated.
This is Powhatan’s Mantle, from 1656. It is an artefact from the first contact between Indigenous Americans and the English Colonists of Virginia in early 1600s. Powhatan was the father of Pocahontas (Matoaka), a woman who married an English settler. She visited England in 1616-1617.
The china display at the Ashmolean needs a dedicated post on its own.
This is the Funeral pall used at Henry VII’s memorial service at Oxford. I was very excited to see this as I’m now studying the Tudors.
This is another artefact I was very excited to see. Is called the Alfred Jewel and it is engraved with “Alfred ordered me to be made”, after Alfred the Great, the most important Anglo-Saxon king. I’ve read about this ring in a book about the English Kings.
The ring was discovered in 1693 by a labourer digging for peat in Somerset, near Athelney, where in 878 King Alfred the Great was taking refuge from the Vikings. The owner of Newton Park, Sir Thoma Wrothe, gave it to his uncle, Nathaniel Palmer, a former member of Trinity College, Oxford. In 1718 the ring was donated to the Ashmolean by his son, Thomas.
I will finish my highlights with the statue of Christopher Wren.
We’ve decided to go to the Rooftop Restaurant after visiting the museum. We didn’t order any food and I have to say that the waiters were not very polite. They were coming to our table to remove the glasses, after a couple of minutes to get the cutlery and so on, obviously annoyed that we didn’t order food too. It was quite rude from them, especially as we didn’t order food for a very good reason, none of the dishes in their lunch menu was marked as vegetarian! Some of them looked like they might be, but pesto can be vegetarian or not, so unless I see the “V” marked on the menu, I wouldn’t order it. I was surprised to see the lack of options, considering how well the University caters for vegans and vegetarians. Needless to say that I’m not going back to the Rooftop Restaurant, but I will visit the museum again, of course.
Ashmolean is on Beaumont St, Oxford, OX1 2PH.