After spending three hours writing up a blog post on this all for Blogger to just delete and save over it, I’m going to keep it short and simple. As I mentioned in my post about going to visit my sister Flo in Reading last week, along with my other sister Ellie, we also went for a day trip to Oxford.
I had never visited Oxford before but being an archaeology graduate, I wanted to visit the museums. It took us just over an hour to drive to Oxford from Reading. Flo told us to brace ourselves for some of the most breathtaking architecture and she wasn’t wrong. I couldn’t not take photos and may have been a little too snap happy.
We passed a lot of graduates in gowns so presumably one of the universities were having a graduation ceremony that day. I didn’t realise some universities graduate on a Saturday but what a wonderful place to graduate and it was perfect day for it weather wise too!
Museum of the History of Science
“The Museum of the History of Science houses an unrivalled collection of early scientific instruments in the world’s oldest surviving purpose-built museum building, the Old Ashmolean on Broad Street, Oxford. The Museum is a department of the University of Oxford, working hard to maintain the academic importance of its collection through teaching, research, conservation and interpretation.” – Museum website. If you want to read more, click here.
The Museum contained lots of old scientific artefacts, as my sister pointed out it felt like an evil scientist’s lab in some old film. The Museum also contained a chalkboard that had some complex equation written on it by Albert Einstein himself. It was too complicated for me to solve but my sister did try and give it a go. Unfortunately she didn’t succeed. Some of the artefacts on display were just beautiful.
Ashmoleon Museum of Art & Archaeology University of Oxford
“The Ashmolean is the University of Oxford’s museum of art and archaeology, founded in 1683. Our world famous collections range from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art, telling human stories across cultures and across time. The Ashmolean’s collections are extraordinarily diverse, representing most of the world’s great civilisations, with objects dating from 8000 BC to the present day. Among many riches we have the world’s greatest collection of Raphael drawings, the most important collection of Egyptian pre-Dynastic sculpture and ceramics outside Cairo, the only great Minoan collection in Britain, outstanding Anglo-Saxon treasures, and the foremost collection of modern Chinese painting in the Western world.” – Museum website, you can read more here .
The Ashmoleon Museum primarily focused on archaeology that seemed fairly similar to the British Museum. It contained a lot of artefacts and replicas ranging from Neolithic, Greek and Egyptian period. We even took some selfies with the Julius Ceaser replicas.
Pitt Rivers Museum
“The Pitt Rivers Museum displays archaeological and ethnographic objects from all parts of the world and all time periods. It is truly a global museum. The museum is also a teaching and research institution and the curators are also university lecturers in either cultural anthropology or prehistoric archaeology. A number of degree courses are taught to both graduate and undergraduate studies. The museum was founded in 1884 when General Pitt Rivers, an influential figure in the development of archaeology and evolutionary anthropology, gave his collection to the University of Oxford.” – Museum website, you can read more here and on Pitt Rivers here.
I felt that the Pitt Rivers Museum was similar to the Natural History Museum and the National Museum of Ireland. It had an old fashion sense to it and covered a whole range of science, history and archaeology topcs. This included artefacts, replicas and taxidermies.
Seeing as we walked passed it, I had to take a photo of it. In case you don’t know, The Eagle & Child is famous for having the likes of J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis visit the premises on a regular basis back in the day.
Overall, it was an enjoyable day out. Until next time, Oxford!