History Cafe visits the Met with Lauren Mancia – Archeological Reconstruction

Here is the last installment of the History Cafe visits the Smoked Salmon Platter with BagelsMetropolitan museum in New York.  If you didn’t hear the first two, they are all separate topics.  The first two cover the twelfth century, and late-medieval mysticism.  This time, we’re talking about archeological reconstructions.  Most of the archeological sites and many of the ruins we look at are in part repaired or reconstructed and it isn’t always obvious how. In this podcast, we talk about some of the problems and choices that people make and how we as scholars and as the public view ancient artifacts in a museum (and in New York.)

The focal points for the first half of the podcast are the well known Temple of Dendur in the Met and the building itself of the Cloisters Museum – both of which were originally ancient buildings from across the Atlantic that have been reconstructed in New York City.  We talk about how they got there as well as the choices made in their current location and presentation.  Then we discuss
And for food, since in many ways this is a podcast about NYC, what could be more New York than a big plate of smoked fish with some bagels and cream cheese…when I was there, I was fortunate enough to have time for an extended breakfast of a bagel absolutely stuffed with amazing king salmon lox made by Shelsky‘s in Brooklyn.  I also bought a big piece of hot smoked bluefish caught on the Atlantic coast to bring home for the next day’s breakfast.  Amazing.

(And if you’re not sure of the difference between hot smoked and lox, you should look it up – there’s a big difference…and here Lauren Mancia and I part ways.  She, as a New Yorker, sweared up and down that lox is required at all bagel and salmon occassions and that hot-smoked salmon is tough, greasy, and generally unpalatable.  As an original northwesterner myself, I find lox often flavorless and stringy and hot-smoked salmon richer, denser and generally more delicious.  Shelsky’s lox, though, is amazing even to a heretic such as myself.  So yeah, get yourself some smoked fish…)

And finally, here are the images and links mentioned in the podcast basically in order of appearance:

Hall 138 - Egypt Wing of the Met
Hall 138 in the Egypt wing of the Met (Click for original page)


Dendur Front
Front of the Temple Dendur (Click for Original Page)


Dendur with Room
Temple Dendur with its Space and Windows (click for original page)


Temple Debod
Temple Debod in Madrid, Spain (click for photo credit)


Abu Simbel Ramses Temple
Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel Today (Click for original photo)


Abu Simbel being Moved
Temple of Ramses II Being Moved (Click for original photo)


AbuSimbel with River
Model of Abu Simbel with old and new locations (Click for original photo)


Cloisters Museum Outside
Outside of the Cloisters Museum (Click for photo credit)


Chapel in MNAC
Apse of Santa Maria de Taull in the Catalan Nacional Art Museum (MNAC) – click for photo credit



The Athens Charter

The Venice Charter

Current UNESCO conventions and agreements

Music Credit:

The two musical interludes are both excertps from Steve Reich’s “City Life” performed by Ensemble Diagonale, directed by Rene Bosc.


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