The GLAM Research Seminar Series is a new initiative for 2020. Open to all, they are designed to showcase the work of GLAM researchers and to foster synergies across the division. There is no need to book.
People attending are welcome to bring their lunches.
The shipwreck in a diamond mine: analysing the ivory cargo of a 16th century Portuguese merchant ship
Dr Ashley Coutu, Research Fellow, Pitt Rivers Museum
Thursday 12 March, Headley Lecture Theatre, Ashmolean Museum, 1-2pm
In southwest Namibia in 2008, diamond mining uncovered the remains of the Portuguese vessel Bom Jesus, which wrecked off the coast of Namibia in 1533 AD. Over forty tons of cargo was found, including gold and silver coins, copper ingots, navigational equipment, and 100 complete tusks of elephant ivory. We used a combination of analyses to source the tusks to West African habitats, revealing patterns of ivory acquisition and circulation during the formative stages of maritime trade that linked Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Suspended in time
Dr Ricardo Pérez-de la Fuente, Museum Research Fellow, Oxford University Museum of Natural History
Thursday 30 January, Headley Lecture Theatre, Ashmolean Museum, 1-2pm
Amber, fossilised plant resin, is able to transport in time small portions of ancient ecosystems. These became trapped in the resin almost instantly, including diverse organisms preserved in stunning detail. But, how is amber gathered, prepared and studied, from the field to the laboratory? What sort of data about life on Earth millions of years ago can be obtained from this fascinating material?