Nicholson Museum research projects
The Nicholson Museum currently conducts, supports and collaborates on a range of research projects, which includes:
- hosting local, interstate and international researchers accessing the Nicholson Museum’s extensive collections for publication purposes
- faciliting cross departmental research
- assisting students to access the collections for honours and postgraduate studies and research projects
- supporting new and ongoing archaeological investigations
Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Vol II
The volume, a collaboration between Michael Turner Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum and Professor Alexander Cambitoglou, Director of the Archaeological Institute of Australia, is published under the auspices of the Union Académique Internationale in Paris. It is due for publication late 2012 – early 2013.
Established in 1919, the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (CVA) series brings together the known holdings of Greek and Italian pottery held in museums and private collections around the world into a standard format. There are now nearly three hundred and fifty volumes from twenty-six countries in the series.
This will be the second CVA to be written on an Australian collection. The first was written by the same authors and published in 2008 (currently available for purchase via abebooks.com). This second volume focuses on the Nicholson Museum's collection of South Italian pottery from Lucania, Paestum, Campania and Sicily. Many of the pieces to be published were acquired by the museum's founder Sir Charles Nicholson and given to the University in 1860. Since then the South Italian collection has grown through gifts and purchases and now numbers over two hundred and fifty items.
The volume has been made possible through the support of the CVA Committee of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and with the generous financial support of the late Professor J.A. Young, Mr Spiros Arvanitakis, Mrs Zoe Kominatos, the Faculty of Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney, and the Nicholson Museum.
Archaeological excavations in Nea Paphos in Cyprus
This project is co-directed by Emeritus Professor J Richard Green, Dr Smadar Gabrieli, and Dr Craig Barker, Manager of Education and Public Programs, Sydney University Museums
The Nicholson Museum is a sponsor and major supporter of the University of Sydney’s archaeological excavations at Nea Paphos in Cyprus along with the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens. Excavations of the Theatre have been ongoing since 1995, conducted under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus. Current fieldwork is concentrating on the excavations of the Hellenistic-Roman period theatre, in use in antiquity for over 6 centuries, as well as investigating the urban layout of the theatre precinct including paved Roman roads and a Roman nymphaeum (water house). To find out more about this research project or how to get involved please visit the Paphos Theatre project website or contact Dr Craig Barker via email
The ‘Sydney Ostracon’
This project has been completed by Dr. Sophie Winlaw, Egyptologist, previous lecturer in the Department of Egyptology at Macquarie University and the current researcher and senior education officer for the Education program at Sydney University Museums.
The so called ‘Sydney Ostracon’ is a significant part of the Nicholson Museum collections, as it is one of only a handful of ostraca held in museums around the world that recount the first industrial disputes in recorded history. This ostracon is a limestone sherd inscribed with an Egyptian text dating from about 1184-1153 BC. Dr Winlaw’s research, involving an examination of the text and physical attributes of the ostracon as well as significant contextual research, has shed new light on the political, economical and social environment of the later New Kingdom in Egypt. The initial results of her research have been published in Archaeological Diggings Vol 19 No 5, 2012, 31-35
Tomb VI, Asproyi, Cyprus
This project is currently being undertaken by Professor Hector Catling former Senior Assistant Keeper at the Ashmolean Museum, Honorary Fellow of St John’s College Oxford and former Director of the British School at Athens
Professor Catling, is currently undertaking research on the material from Tomb IV at the site of Asproyi, Kouklia (Paleopaphos) in Cyprus in preparation for publication. The material was excavated during the St Andrews University and Liverpool Museum expedition to Cyprus in 1954. A portion of the material from the tombs was given to the Nicholson Museum during the Curatorship of J.R. Stewart, another prominent Cypriot archaeologist. The material in the Nicholson includes ceramics, ivory and bone artefacts and some metals. The material dates to the late thirteenth and early twelfth centuries BC
Postgraduate and Honours reasearch
An Analysis of the Clapton-In-Gordano Coin Hoard in the Nicholson Museum
Shane Leathem undertook this project as part of his completion of Honours in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney University, submitted 2012
The Clapton-In-Gordano coin hoard, discovered in 1924, is a late 3rd century AD Romano-British hoard that consists of 3440 coins, 3244 of which were acquired by the Nicholson Museum in 1949. As part of Shane's honours research, he has conducted an intensive analysis of the contents of the coin hoard to determine whether the composition was comparable to similarly dated coin hoards. The results of this analysis has enabled him to determine the possible reasons that the coin hoard was buried and not recovered. As a part of this research project, Shane has thoroughly catalogued each coin apart of the hoard in the Nicholson Museums collection. Shan'es research will assist in the ongoing digitisation project of the collections.
If you would like further details about current research at the Nicholson Museum please contact our curatorial staff via email or call us on (+61) 2 9351 2812