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Images of posters promtoing the three MA Student exhibitions

A series of three new exhibitions curated by MA Museum and Artefact Studies students are opening across Ƶapp Museums from 23 May.

These varied exhibitions have all been created as part of the students’ MA course work and offer them the opportunity to work with rare artefacts, at our historic venues. The students have worked closely with staff from the Archaeology Department and Museums to produce professional exhibitions, which will be open to the public all summer.

Two of the exhibitions are based at locations on Durham’s World Heritage Site, in ƵappCastle and the Museum of Archaeology, while the third is hosted at the Oriental Museum.  All of the exhibitions are open to all visitors and tailored towards learners of all ages.  

‘Under Durham’ at the Museum of Archaeology, Palace Green

This free exhibition sheds light on the ordinary, often forgotten residents of Ƶappusing archaeological discoveries previously hidden beneath Durham’s World Heritage Site, many of which have never been on display before. It will explore the lives and stories of people in the past, through their daily life, special celebrations, and personal stories of individuals. 

 Exhibits come from Gary Bankhead’s collection of objects recovered from the River Wear as well as artefacts from the Museum of Archaeology collections, including objects relating to the 17th Century Scottish Soldiers who were imprisoned in ƵappCathedral and buried under Palace Green.

There will also be an online exhibition and a podcast to accompany this exhibition and it will be the subject of the Museum of Archaeology’s Twilight Talk on Thursday 27 June.

‘Repair and Care: The Norman Chapel Project’ at ƵappCastle

This exhibition has been incorporated into the guided tours of ƵappCastle. It narrates the history of construction and conservation within the Castle, with a particular focus on the Norman Chapel. This 11th century building, the oldest free-standing building in the city, has undergone many lives; from a place of worship to an RAF base, to a building site.  

This exhibition showcases the works necessary to keep the Castle and Chapel standing, as well as shedding light on the lives of the people who have lived there.  Artefacts recently unearthed from excavations behind the Norman Chapel will be on show for the first time, including the remains of a raven, an ancient bone die and much more.   

Interviews with people involved in preserving the Castle will be revealed to the public for the first time, providing personal insights from the construction workers, archaeologists, conservators and curators that are working closest with the Castle’s past.   

Tickets for Castle Tours can be purchased at Palace Green Library Reception or booked online.

‘Toy Box: Celebrating toys and games across cultures’ at the Oriental Museum.

The exhibition includes a fun display of toys ranging from Ancient Egyptian dice to the modern Game Boy. Visitors can see one of the Olympic mascots from the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics and be introduced to a hand-crafted board including six different games from India. 

Younger visitors will be guided around the exhibition by Tao Tao, the pink loong (Chinese Dragon). They can also enjoy a game of chess, a life-size Egyptian game of Senet, or snakes and ladders while connecting with something that makes us all human, our love of play. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a series of family-friendly events at the venues for visitors to enjoy.

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