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Stories of Objects Blog

We are delighted to publish the contributions to our Stories of Objects blog here, with new blogs appearing each month. If you have any queries about the blog or would like to contribute a future post, please contact the blog's editor, Dr Eris Williams-Reed eris dot williams-reed at warwick dot ac dot uk
Just a Game? An ancient dice tower and Roman society by Will Vernon

It is easy to think of gaming as a trivial aspect of our daily lives, as being ‘just a game’. But for students in fields like history, archaeology and anthropology, games can offer insights into a given society by reflecting on aspects such as the social, political and cultural activities of a given time....

Terracotta dancing doll - British Museum
Moulding the Maiden in Ancient Greece by Lizz Hayes
The Toy industry: what a booming business. And in the last century, what doll has been more iconic than BarbieTM? Her blue eyes, blonde hair and slim figure are all features which highlighted an idealised version of beauty many idolised and even dreamed of having. But you and I both know, reaching this appearance is more in the hands of nature than ours....
Boudicca Statue Westminster Bridge
Without One Brave Enough to Challenge Us We Will Never Change by Katie Tipple

As you walk over Westminster Bridge, down Parliament Square, the legacy of those who have shaped the world around us is clear to see. For me, I’ve found my attention is naturally drawn to the statue of Boudicca and her daughters...

Prima Porta StampAn Object Within an Object - How Mussolini Used the Stamp to Appropriate Augustan Art for His Own Nefarious Means by Katie Baldwin
Stamps are something that we’ve all seen, we’ve probably all used, but rarely stop to recognise and appreciate their cultural or societal significance. Yet something as mundane as the stamp can wield a thousand stories if we look closely enough...(read more here)
Tarpeian rock
Tarpeia: Greedy Traitor or Feminist Advocate? by Rebecca Preedy
The legend of Tarpeia was told variously by many Latin authors, including Livy, Varro and Propertius. However, most versions give the same basic plot points. It is told that in the time of Romulus, Rome was in a population crisis...(read more here)
Funerary portrait of Šalmat
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Filtered Lives of Women in the Ancient World by Katie Baldwin

In the age of social media, the lived experiences of many women are there for all to see. But the lived experiences of women in the ancient world are less obvious. Many things we see in the modern world are a filtered view of life, whether that is by an Instagram filter, a carefully chosen photo or a news article....(read more here)

Aphrodite of Knidos
Freeing Venus: Is the Nude Aphrodite of Knidos Statue Liberating or Does it Facilitate Inappropriate Behaviour from the Viewer? by Louisa Armitage

The Aphrodite of Knidos statue and its treatment in both the modern day and ancient times highlights issues of sexualisation, objectification and consent. Of course, women still face these issues today, nearly two and a half millennia after the statue’s creation. This statue is therefore a useful object from which to explore the mistreatment of women through different societies, ancient and modern.....(read more here)

Meroe Head

Black Voices, Black History, and the Meroë Head by Áine Nikookam

The summer of 2020 sparked a big change in public debate surrounding British history and its ties to slavery and the monuments that mark that phase in the country’s history. Some recognised the atrocities of the past and called for new ways to recover Black voices and celebrate their history, with defacing and toppling statues of former slave owners being amongst the many ways to manifest this. However, what on earth does this have to do with a bronze head of Augustus found in the ancient city, Meroë?....(read more here)

And do check out our WCN Blog, written by Stories of Objects alumna Áine Nikookam.