Italian Museums and Archaeology

Standard

If I have any advice to give, it’d be to always take opportunities. I have weekends off, so I decided to travel each weekend because you never know when you will be able to be in Italy again. So, since Rome captured my heart, and the archaeologist in me was yelling to come out, I went to the Vatican Museum one weekend. Their collection is very extensive. They have art as old as 4,000 years, like the Sumerian cuneiform tablets that were used to document law and stories, all the way to Egyptian, Roman, and contemporary art. The architecture of the Vatican is a wonder all by itself because it looks like it was very carefully crafted. As presented in the pictures below, the whole building is extremely ornate and takes a few minutes of observation to be able to notice all the details.  It’s absolutely exquisite! I’ve been to the Met in New York and the U Penn Museum in Philly, but this museum is just something you need to see for yourself.

A few of the art works surprised me because I’ve never seen anything like them! One of them was a statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian dressed as a Pharaoh, which I didn’t even know existed. Also, since I minor in art history, I’ve learned a lot about Roman art, but I always saw famous Roman art works in textbooks; in Rome, I found myself standing in front of them. For example, the Augustus of Prima Porta caught me by surprise as I was exiting the museum. To see a work of art that I’ve been studying for years gives it so much more meaning because suddenly when you see the art in person, it’s a real “thing” and not just a picture in a book. It was made by someone and valued by many, and that is fascinating to think about.

Though, this doesn’t only apply to pieces of art. It also applies to entire archaeological sites that you learn about while taking archaeology courses. For instance, I went to Pompeii the following weekend with two of my classmates. At first I didn’t know what to expect because I had an image in my head of what it should look like: small city, narrow streets, and maybe ten homes to walk through. It was nothing like my vision. It was even better! The streets were wider, still paved with ancient roads. There were remains of at least 30 houses you were able to walk into. Many of the frescoes and mosaic floors were still intact inside the homes as well. Not only are there homes, but a forum, an amphitheater, gladiator barracks, and a bath house. The ancient city is huge. In fact, I’d love to go again  sometime because I didn’t get to see all of Pompeii in a day.

Artifacts and entire sites are most definitely more grand than in textbooks. The most intriguing part of seeing these things is realizing that humans built things like the city of Pompeii and created the art works in museums. Because of that realization, I’ll never forget these experiences. The Vatican Museum and Pompeii are definitely a must! I’m extremely grateful that this program encourages me to explore, all while training me for my dream profession!

13720479_2045836505642174_550958488_o

Emperor Hadrian in Pharaoh wear

 

13720482_2045876525638172_1704611757_o

Augustus of Prima Porta

 

13716227_2048006725425152_306349175546928727_n

A concrete body cast of an actual body from Pompeii that was preserved

 

13718786_2048000022092489_6784130407756942604_n

Streets of Pompeii

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s