Charles Nicholson, Sydney, Nicholson Museum discussed on Conversations
Rights to keep the local people say from disease. Yeah. When you say pre-test, we have to be it's not quite a sort of nine to five ole pervasive job. So he preached us in the temple of segment there was kind of on rotation. I guess that you had a private life with chewed of probably being married. You may have had children. And she would have had that private life at home and at the same time at certain periods of the year. She would have had judy's to do in the temple to Nana Revista. Virgin the in in other words, give ni- she would have had a full life like anyone else, but she would have had certain obligations in the temple to have come into the temple of segment perhaps it in times of the year, and some of those as you say, you imagine the incense little stuff. One of the big rights was to to play music to other ply musical to sing. And that's gonna white the goat up to note to the God to do the same thing at private funerals as well as the Representative of segment, so that you you're about to open this coffin as you say. And while you're trying to damp down your expectations, your hopes starting to creep up. What did you what did you see? Once you been that coffin. I will never forget this moment. Till the dia diary, rich. It was just the most George robbing silence filled the room, so wonderful collections management. Same had lifted. The lead off. The coffin lead had actually been cut separately, probably by the tumor. But so it slides in and out of the top of the fate of the coffin like a pencil box. So you have to slide it out of it. And then it has to be lifted up, and then they place the lead on the giant table. And of course, we will peed out hit into say would is a few bits and pieces lifts and what we saw was astonishing. What we saw was full almost to the top of the trough of the coffin in a part of it with this amazing mixture of beads bandages bones lumps of resin. So resin is going to Batumi viscous liquid was poured over the mummies of preserving agent this then Haden's the rob is cracked through this like a shell. And that that lumps of this stuff will come looks like call world scattered there through there as well. Some of the sodas that I think Nicholson had used a package it before we sent it. Back to Sydney was still there. Imagine picking up a coffin full of bits and. Paces shaking above your head like a cocktail shaker, and then putting it down. And that's kind of what we saw you mentioned the resin. And I mentioned this great big lump inside. There have risen what was that? Well, perhaps jumping ahead of it here. But when we we see T scan this coffin we saw this lump in the scan come up a very high density object, which is dense bind. So we didn't know what it was. But eventually when we started to excavate are Egyptologist, Connie doctor, Connie Lord picked it up and she just went oh my God. I know what this is. And it was an Endo cost so resin that sort of viscous mixture of bees wax, and conifer sap and things his preserving kind of liquid like a Honey put IVA embalmers often then pulled resin back through that Nizo passage into the empty skull cavity. Because of course, they've taken the Bryans out. So why do they need to do that? If taken the Brian we think it's as you site. It's kind of just give. A robustness extra security to keep the body in shape. And we know that they do this because in C T scans of complete mommy's think the famous scan of Tutankhamun, for example, you can see where this resin has settled in the back of this person's head. So imagine Tutankhamun is lying back. The resonance poured into his Brian it pulls into the back of his head with flat top over the the sort the even surface. So we know that this has happened. But I've never been in a situation where we've actually had the end icon. And the reason why the end I cost is here. He's because the body had been so badly broken about by robbers that the skull is there, but it's in about seven pieces scattered throughout the coffin said. So this resin is like a it's like a mold of the interior of this woman's Brian case, and you can see the Kapila res veins the impressions on that. The residents self is black, but it's teiken on the whiteness of the bone. So it it looks kind of freaky, and you can see the the molding of the head of the top of the spinal. Let sort of stuff. So now, we have to talk about how this coffin and its interiors stuff, the debris was obtained as you say it comes from the collection of Charles Nicholson, can can you tell me a bit about him place Nicholson is an amazing character who had a really important role to play an early colonial style. And I think the Nicholson museum is kind of a legacy that we've got from him, but he's gonna much bigger legacy. So he was born in old England around whippy turns out from some research on my predecessor that it was an illegitimate birth. Although to fairly wealthy family. He doesn't medical degree in Scotland in uniting thirty three gets on a boat and comes out to the colony of Sydney, I think like anyone without dirty washing to Launda the colonies were good place to do that. So he comes out on on the boat of of an uncle of who's by sincerities was a ship's captain was making a lot of money by shipping out the convicts. So Nicholson turns up educated man, charismatic man, very. Bright, man. He's dies soon after you know, shipping accident Nicholson becomes very wealthy, man. And you put all of that together in this new colony, and it really is a recipe for success Nicholson makes the most of it. So one of the things he does is he gets very active in the political landscape. He becomes the one of the first elected representatives on the New South Wales legislative assembly is big land writing Queensland's weed becomes the same thing for Queensland when queens lines created, and he he's one of the founding forces of the driving forces behind foundation of strategies, I university university of Sydney, which opens its tools and acting fifty. And then he thinks that this new university needs a sense of history. And of course, we would say today. Well, you know, this sixty five thousand years of history right underneath but for for someone of Nicholson zeal, that's costing back to the mid of training in Europe. And so you becomes the first vice provost vice chancellor chancellor, and it's an in that role in the adding fifties at fifty seven hundred fifty eight he goes on a trip back. The UK, but he goes Egypt the Nile valley through the telling peninsula, and he he's be shopping shopping spree. What he's cruising up and down the Nile Z. Absolutely. And he's buying antiquities off the market quite deliberately to donate to the university's Sydney. Only condition. They start a museum. A lot of people are doing this on the grand tour of the diaper Nicholson's doing it for very particular reason, a mess to create collection for education, and what was he doing once? He'd bought these things how did you verify them? He was quite a learned scholarly, man. So he would he had a lot of good contacts in the sort of the intellectual the time. He he could read a bit of ancient Hebrew HARA, cliff Hard Livings himself. I'm so he would do a lot of rotting research off his own bat. One of the first things he did with some of the Japan mommy's was before sending them to Sydney actually, ship them from Alexandria up to London to get one of the curator of the British Museum to have a look at them. So I'll first descriptions of. By this iding, fifty nine curator at the British Museum who I have to say now that we're one hundred fifty is on Feb it wrong. But. And then from there they get shipped out to see the end. And this is before the sewage canals have come by the roaring forties. And I think the coughing was also put on its head because all the stuff inside sleep to end.