Ancient Cyprus presented to modern scholars

This week’s staff breakfast was given by Thomas Kiely, curator in the Department of Greece and Rome, who talked about the Cyprus Digitisation Project and the Ancient Cyprus in the British Museum Online Research Catalogue.

Much of the Cyprus collection at the British Museum was collected in the late nineteenth century when excavations, documentation and collecting were more casual than they are today.  Many of the excavations were not published and the artefacts that made their way to the BM were not properly documented.  

Both of these projects reflect an effort by the Department of Greece and Rome to make the Cyprus collection more accessible to researchers, students and members of the public.  It also gives the curators a chance to reassemble archaeological materials (from each site) that have been scattered, and to re-evaluate the research in modern archaeological terms.

Cyprus digitisation project:

“The aim of the Cyprus Digitisation Project is to create an on-line resource for scholars, students and the general public. This will give access to all the material from the major sites represented in our collection, with images and information. Both exhibited and reserve material will be included, with up-to-date catalogue entries and bibliography.”

Ancient Cyprus in the British Museum: 

“This online research catalogue aims to provide a detailed and fully illustrated database of the entire Cypriot collection, together with essays outlining the history and archaeological development of the sites represented in the British Museum.”