Jericho and Jerusalem are two of the world’s oldest cities in the world having been lived in since the 1st Millennium BC. Thus they are a pot of gold for archaeologists. They have yielded thousands of finds of huge historical value over the years. For journalists they are a pot of gold as well as these finds have been covered by them in numerous media like BAR magazine.
Now from 23 Oct 2013 to 6 April 2014 an important collection of artefacts from these cities dating to the Bronze (2300-1200 B.C.E.) and Iron age (1200-550 B.C. E.) is on display at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne. These artefacts were found on the excavations of British archaeologist, Dame Kathleen Kenyon(1906-1978) and now form part of the exhibition. Kenyon made headlines back in the 1950s for her work in Jericho and then in the 1960’s for her work in Jerusalem. In Britain many reporters followed her findings closely.
This exhibition showcases terracotta figurines, loom weights, spindle whorls and many pottery vessels from tombs at Jericho, excavated by Kenyon from 1952–54, and from her 1967 excavations at Jerusalem. These objects were used in daily life and are beautifully made. These objects were given to the University of Melbourne as a teaching collection in return for the financial support for Kenyon’s excavations. Here is a short video of the exhibition along with some audio;
Over 100 remarkable ceramics (pots) are on display from the digs. The curator of this exhibition Dr Andrew Jamieson, said as well as showing important archaeological objects from these cities the exhibition tells the story of Kenyon’s contribution to Middle Eastern archaeology.
He said, “Best known for her excavations at Jericho and Jerusalem, she helped train a whole generation of archaeologists, including Australian scholar Basil Hennessey, who went on to become Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Sydney.
“Kathleen Kenyon’s work continues to resonate throughout the archaeological world. Her field methods and scientific techniques strengthened the discipline of archaeology. She is often credited with popularizing archaeology,” Dr Jamieson said.