In the Field: Surveying Petroglyphs in Jordan

This summer, incoming Museum Studies student Meghan Grizzle worked with Professor Sandra Olsen in Jordan. She shares her favorite memories here.

While in Jordan, I surveyed petroglyphs in the Black Desert with Dr. Mahdi Alzoubi and Dr. Sandra Olsen. Dr. Alzoubi specializes in reading and transcribing Ancient Arabic from the petroglyphs. The work that we did will go toward Dr. Alzoubi’s current research on petroglyphs in the Black Desert. My time was far too short in Jordan, but I will be planning a trip to go back.

Megan standing in front of the Treasury at Petra, JordanDuring my visit to Jordan, I was able check a big item off on my bucket list: visiting Petra. Petra is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, which was built by the Nebataeans. If you are familiar with Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, you will recognize the iconic Treasury of Petra. Having an archaeology background, seeing and being at Petra was a dream come true.

I was also able to see Wadi Rum, also known as The Valley of the Moon. It is a valley cut into the sandstone and granite rock in southern Jordan. Wadi Rum is home to a large amount of rock art. We also took a trip to MUSE student Meghan Grizzle and her guide riding camels at PetraAqaba (the Red Sea), which is famous for Lawrence of Arabia. And, I got to ride a camel in the desert at Petra!

With a master’s in Museum Studies, I would love to work in the field with archaeology and in the lab or repository curating the artifacts which have been excavated from sites. I believe work in this area will be crucial. From personal experience, there is little communication between the field and the work done in the repository. Work like this will hopefully help with the current curation crisis.


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Museum Events

Red Hot Research: Graduate Edition
Friday, November 17 | 4 p.m.-5:30 a.m.
The Commons, Spooner Hall, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd.
Red Hot Research brings together scholars from all disciplines, speaking for six minutes each in Pecha Kucha–inspired presentations. Audience members are encouraged to connect with the speakers and each other during breaks. This session features graduate student research.

Slow Art Sunday: Amida Buddha (Amitabha) 
Sunday, November 19 | 2 p.m.-3 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 407, 1301 Mississippi St
Slow down at the Spencer and spend time getting to know one great work of art. Slow Art Sunday features one work for visitors to contemplate and converse about with Museum staff. In November, get to know Amida Buddha (Amitabha).

Performance: Aspects of Liszt 
Sunday, November 19 | 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Gallery 317, Sam and Connie Perkins Central Court, 1301 Mississippi St
Distinguished Emmy-winning author, critic, radio and film producer David Dubal joins KU international concert artist Steven Spooner in an afternoon of piano music from the era of the Spencer Museum’s origins and fascinating commentary on the legendary Franz Liszt. This concert is part of the Museum’s centennial celebration of our collection.

Day After Thanksgiving Program: Magic Marbles 
Friday, November 24 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures, 5235 Oak St. Kansas City, MO
It’s a day of marble magic with fun for the entire family. Explore the museum’s special exhibit Playing for Keeps: The VFW Marble Tournaments, 1947-1962, and try your hand at “knuckling down” during a marble lesson. Then, pick out your own marble and turn it into a piece of wearable art to take home with you. Included with museum admission.

Global Film Festival
Thursday, November 30 | 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art, Rm. 309 1301 Mississippi St
Curated by first-year students, the Global Film Festival features four films exploring ideas in Spencer Museum exhibitions. This film is presented in conjunction with the exhibition Power Clashing: Clothing, Collage, and Contemporary Identities. The film will be announced on the Museum’s website.

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