Rome’s Final Frontier in the Hunterian Museum

Yesterday I blogged about attending the UMIS conference at the Hunterian Museum last week. During the lunch break on Friday I managed to have a look round the museum which has seen a few changes since I was last there. In September this year, the new Antonine Wall gallery opened. For those of you who have never heard of it, the Antonine Wall was the north western frontier of the Roman Empire. It ran from the north side of the River Clyde to Bo’ness on the Firth of Forth. The new gallery contains monumental sculpture and Roman artefacts recovered from the Wall. The layout of the pillars at the entrance to the gallery and the display of sculpture around the sides made me feel like I was entering a Roman temple. There is a lot to look at in this gallery and it’s made even more interesting by the fact that these are all objects that were found here in Scotland.

I also explored the main hall, although I didn’t quite have enough time to look at everything. (Must pay another visit soon.) There are all kinds of interesting things to see. Among my favourites were
* The mastodon tooth – the size of the tooth means that the dinosaur that it belonged to must have been HUGE
* The time capsule dinosaur eggs – amazing to think that these are 80 MILLION years old
* The brain coral in the coral display – yes, it really does look like a brain
* The zoology teaching charts – I really like all of these old teaching posters, but if I had to pick just one it would probably be the chart depicting the inner workings of the Vipera berus
* The display of birds nests – check out the difference between the style of bird nest we are more familiar with here in the UK and the amazing structures made by birds such as the crested oropendola

The Hunterian Museum and the Hunterian Art Gallery are now open on both Saturdays and Sundays, so there is no excuse not to pay a weekend visit! Check out the website for opening times and directions.

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