Ivory Board Game Pieces, Early Dynastic Period 

These six board game pieces were associated with a game called ‘Mehen’ coil, because it was played on a circular limestone board that took the form of a coiled snake, its skin divided into squares. Three playing pieces represent recumbent lions, and three recumbent lionesses, height: 3.5 cm. Early Dynastic Period, 1st Dynasty, ca. 3100-2890 BC. Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 44918 A-F, Ground Floor, Hall 43.

Sir Arthur Evans

Archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans, best known for his excavations at Knossos in Crete, was born #onthisday in 1851. These are some materials from the Sir Arthur Evans Archive.

Evans was Keeper of the Ashmolean from 1884-1908, and his ambition to make the museum a centre for archaeology resulted in thousands of new acquisitions and a new department for antiquities. 

Drawing of a polychrome pot from a tomb at Isopata near Knossos, from the Sir Arthur Evans Archive.

The Minoan and Mycenaean collections on display in our Aegean World gallery. The Ashmolean’s Aegean collection, containing many items holds around 10,000 objects and is the largest and most comprehensive outside Greece. Many finds from Evans’ own excavations are in the museum’s collection.