Ancient Greece in the British Museum with Helena Meskanen - Context Travel

Ancient Greece in the British Museum with Helena Meskanen


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The British Museum houses some of the most famous and fascinating objects from ancient Greece, and this webinar will take you on a journey of the collection, stopping at the most interesting objects and time periods.

Starting in the Bronze Age, we will discuss how a 19 th century archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans discovered what he thought was the first European civilization, the Minoan Crete. With the myth of King Minos and his labyrinth in mind, Evans excavated the Cretan site of Knossos, finding a palace full of narrow corridors, grand rooms and courtyards. We will discuss the Minoan focus on bulls and bull leaping, as well as the much later myth of the Minotaur and the labyrinth. After the Bronze Age societies collapsed, a series of independent city-states began to develop in Greece. We will discuss key aspects of Greek society during this time: drinking and dining with the elaborately decorated vases, retelling of myths, and the Mediterranean trade. We will finish with possibly the most famous and controversial objects in the museum: the Parthenon marbles, and discuss the Parthenon's significance for the ancient Athenians as well as now the British Museum.

Led by an expert on Greek archaeology, Dr Helena Meskanen, this interactive seminar will give a deep dive into the Greek collection housed in the British Museum. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of ancient Greek society through the objects and sculptures they left behind.

Dr Helena Meskanen is an archaeologist specialising in ancient Greece, with research focusing on ancient Spartan religion. She has been leading tours of the British Museum for 3 years and feels passionately about the wide range of objects on display, and the stories they tell about the museum and the cultures that created them.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.