Notes from the Novium: Star objects from Sussex's newest museum

By Culture24 Reporter | 10 July 2012
A photo of a young female curator looking a small museum object while wearing gloves
Museum Manager Tracey Clark takes a look at some of the amazing objects enjoying a new home at the Novium in Chichester
The Novium, the new £7 million museum in Chichester, West Sussex, has opened to the public with an astonishing collection of historic artefacts, particularly from the Roman period. We take a look at a few of them...

A photo of a small ethnographic doll made from light brown wood and a set of beads
This Fanti Doll - a wooden fertility doll from Ghana - was donated to the museum in 1831. It features symbolic dual genitalia, which at some point in the past appears to have been a little too much for a previous curator, who made a miniature cloth dress to cover the doll's modesty
A photo of a large stone slab from Roman times with various craft tools on top of it
The Jupiter Stone was found during excavations in West Street in 1934, and has been painstakingly conserved and rebuilt to take a prime position on the ground floor of the museum. It is a portion of a Roman sculpture base dated to anywhere between the late first to early third century AD
A photo of two curved implements used during Roman times to work with make-up
This is a Roman elliptical mortar and pestle - a tool for preparing and applying makeup. It was found in a grave at the Roman cemetery of St Pancras, which represents a burial place for the late 1st to 2nd century AD Roman population of Chichester
A photo of a young woman in a red curatorial suit standing among Roman ruins
The remains of the Roman baths, which date back to the first century AD, dominate the ground floor gallery. The bath house would have been used as a meeting place, to engage in leisure activities and perhaps to talk business. Even at that time, there were complaints about noise
A photo of a mushroom-shaped light stone slab from Roman remains held by a museum
This crest knob comes from the top of a Roman gallic type helmet, used to secure a plume or crest to the top of a helmet. Plumes were usually of horse hair and could be dyed different colours. They may have been purely for decoration, or may have identified the wearer's unit or rank

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