Photo fun for competitive classicists

Photo fun for competitive classicists

9 November 2023

As part of a very informative visit to the British Museum in the first half of term (which you can read more about here), Dr Dixon and Miss Mackay organised an entertaining and educational photography competition, where our classicists had to look carefully for certain artefacts and respond to their discoveries.

The first challenge was to photograph a musical instrument. This was trickier than expected. Anisia, studying Greek tragedy, found a beautiful image on a vase of an aulos, a type of wind instrument often played with the dramatic chorus and at religious festivals. As students studying A Level Classical Civilisation and Latin are very familiar with the famous story of the wooden horse at Troy, a photograph of the best depiction of a horse was a fitting second challenge. There were plenty of horses to be found, in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but the most eye-catching was a terracotta figurine photographed by Freya. There was a tie at the top in the third task - to evidence the smallest object - as several students located the tiny remains of a quarter obol, a coin. Challenges four (most unusual item) and five (re-creation) were the trickiest for Dr Dixon and Miss Mackay to judge. The most unusual items included a hedgehog-shaped perfume bottle, a sundial and a statue of a lion from the Elgin Marbles display, but the winners were Honor and Iona, who were astounded to find the Rosetta Stone. The re-creation challenge, where students mimicked a favourite artefact, was particularly entertaining. Winners Imo and Anisia impersonated perfume bottles in the shape of squatting comic actors (main photo). Some of the other photos are shown in the gallery below.

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