As a a second year archaeology student, I’m really lucky to have worked at the Oriental Museum for almost two years. It’s great to have this fantastic resource on the doorstep and to be able to get involved with everything that happens in this wonderful museum.
“Oh, there’ll just be a little bit about China and Japan,” I thought as I first walked into the Oriental Museum. Lots of people apparently think the same thing, before running up to the reception desk and exclaiming (often at high pitch) “This place is amazing!” – And they’re right!
So much going on
Laid out in a visitor friendly style (so that you won’t miss anything), the Oriental Museum has artefacts and super-facts from Egypt to Japan and the places in-between. For family visitors, there are fun trails to do, as well as dressing up and colouring in, with the colouring in becoming a favourite with adults as well as children. If you’re there for study you won’t be disappointed as there really is something for everyone. Students who study a variety of subjects have found the museum invaluable, including those studying art, photography, archaeology, languages; the list goes on.
Colourful cultural events
Make sure you don’t miss out on one of the many big events from around the world that are celebrated at the Oriental Museum. Diwali and Holi Festival are HUGE events that are not only fun, but also a great way to meet people in the area. Holi is also a fun way to make friends at your local laundrette…
The Dinky Dig
In addition, there are regular family events at weekends and a variety of things to do over summer – check out the “Dinky Dig” coming up as part of the Festival of Archaeology.
To keep the kiddiwinks busy in summer, Little Dragons is a great hour of entertainment for the under-fives, while the Durham Archaeology Explorers (or “DAX”) caters for those between 7 and 11.
The museum also hosts talks on a variety of subjects and regularly hosts the North East Ancient Egypt Society, which is really popular with students and visitors alike. And if you’re a creative type, look out for workshops including making your own pinhole camera, or even making, firing and decorating your own teapot!
Explore the stunning collections
All this and I haven’t even mentioned the exhibits! Frequently rotated (it’s a big collection!), the Oriental Museum is home to collections of international importance and has some of the most exquisite artefacts throughout the world. If I were to list them all here, you wouldn’t have time to visit – so you might as well come along and say hello! I can assure you it will be well worth it.
Find out more about the Oriental Museum and check out the Durham University What’s on Guide for information on these and other fun events and activities taking place across all University Attractions.
Steven Henry is a second year archaeology student and has worked at the museum for almost two years. His favourite artefacts are the tiny Egyptian frogs and amulets as he’s convinced that one day, he’ll find one himself amongst some desert sand….