Mining the Collection 2013: No Stone Left Unturned
(May 2013 - Spring 2014; Badè Museum Gallery)
Stone was one of the most commonly used materials in ancient Israel. Its local abundance made it suitable for use in the manufacture of many different types of artifacts. Limestone was the most available stone, and was used in building construction as well as in the production of weights, weapons, jewelry, and agricultural tools. Basalt, a volcanic stone, was also commonly used in ancient Israel. The porous nature of basalt made it an ideal material for grinding tools. Despite the prolific use of stone in ancient Israel, it is often undervalued by archaeologists in favor of “prettier” or “more interesting” artifacts. However, stone has much to contribute to the understanding of daily life and the use of natural resources in the ancient world.
We conceived of this exhibit as a response to David Sleeth’s Mining the Collection 2013 exhibit, “Site/Structure,” which is on display in the Doug Adams Gallery from June 6th-August 23rd, 2013. Inspired by David’s pieces, we chose to focus on stone as material and medium. Rather than presenting stone in its archaeological context, we decided to display different sizes, shapes, textures, and types of stone artifacts to illustrate the variety and aesthetics of each individual object. De-contextualizing the objects and interpreting them in this abstract manner is a direct reaction to David’s pieces, which re-imagine individual artifacts and stone architecture. Our approach aims to put the two exhibits in a dialogue of opposition and complement.
This show is the product of the joint venture between the Badè Museum and the Doug Adams Gallery, entitled Mining the Collection, in which the Badè Museum curators work with a resident artist at the Doug Adams Gallery to explore the Tell en-Nasbeh collection together, sharing a variety of ideas and concepts, and creating two exhibits that revolve around a shared interest in a particular aspect of the collection. As noted above, the Doug Adams Gallery exhibit, entitled "Site/Structure," features the work of David Sleeth. For more information, visit the Doug Adams Gallery Website.
'Behinds the Scenes' at the Badè Museum
(October, 2011-present; Badè Museum Hallway Display Cases)
While the Badè Museum Gallery often stands as a symbol of the larger entity and efforts of the museum, and offers the public a clear and comprehensive visual representation of the Tell en-Nasbeh collection, much of the cutting-edge work takes place out of public view. Ongoing research of specific artifacts and object types from the collection, for example, is often carried out in the museum office and storage areas in Holbrook Hall. Working on these projects are the museum staff and visiting scholars, the latter often carrying out additional work from their home research institutions, both in the United States and abroad.
The summaries and photographs in this exhibit highlight the projects currently in progress at the Badè Museum. While being linked by a common base, the Tell en-Nasbeh collection, this group of projects is truly diverse, ranging from artifact-oriented inquiries, digitizing the Tell en-Nasbeh collection, to the revitalization of the museum’s educational outreach program, our popular traveling exhibit. This display, accordingly, brings to light the innovative and often unknown aspects of museum work by offering a unique window to the “behind of the scenes” of the Badè Museum.
The Current Projects on Display include:
- Cooking at Tell en-Nasbeh: An Archaeological Interpretation of Iron Age Diet and Identity
- The Tell en-Nasbeh Bioarchaeology Project
- The Badè Museum’s Traveling Exhibit Program
- Household Archaeology at Tell en-Nasbeh: A New Approach to Old Material
- Digitizing, Databasing, and Disseminating the Tell en-Nasbeh Collection
- Iron Tools and Agriculture at Iron Age Tell en-Nasbeh
(Permanent Display; Badè Museum Gallery)
This exhibit is the "heart and soul" of the Badè Museum. It displays a wealth of finds from the excavations at Tell en-Nasbeh, Palestine whose objects span from the Early Bronze Age (3100–2200 BC) through the Iron Age (1200–586 BC) and into the Roman and Hellenistic periods.
Highlights of the exhibit include "Tools of the Trade" featuring real archaeological tools used by Badè and his team, an oil lamp typology, a Second Temple period (586 BC–70 AD) limestone ossuary, and a selection of painted Greek pottery.