The Cobb Institute Museum at Mississippi State University displays items from the Old World and the New World. When I visited the museum I noticed a wide variety of artifacts. The Old world side contained pieces from many Old World countries, while the New World side featured a lot of pieces that are from local areas. Since there was such a vast number of artifacts at the Cobb Museum, I have decided to focus on the clay vessels and etchings in the Old and New World. In the section of ceramics form Israel’s Iron Age II, there were a lot of pots and vessels.
A four-room house in the Halif settlement is where the Archeologists found the pieces of ceramics. The armies of King Sennacharib from Assyria burned this settlement. Experts believe that the artifacts in this section were made around 700 B. C. (Cobb). I did not think the bottom of this pot would be able to keep the top stable considering that the top is much larger than the bottom. One pot had four handles, a flat bottom, and a very wide opening. It looked like a very practical piece of pottery. I am sure it was useful in distributing water or other substances.
Another vessel in this section was a very small vase with a wide base and a single handle. It looked like it would have been used to pour water. Another piece was a very large bulb shaped piece of pottery. I believe it was also used to carry water. The lid displayed in the Israel’s Second Iron Age section was slightly different from most of the other pieces. It had small holes drilled in the top. This decoration made it stand out more than the other ones. One other piece of pottery in the area had decoration. One of the medium sized pots had lines etched around the top close to the handles.
All of the other pieces were void of decorations. There were nine different vessels in this area of the museum. None were fully complete, but it was easy to see how big the pot was and what it looked like. Most of the pots had handles to make them easier to transport. I was glad to see that some of the pots were setting upside down. I liked how I was able to see what the bottoms looked like. The Cobb Museum had a collection of Old World oil lamps. One lamp was cream colored and teardrop shaped. The top was adorned with a thin u-shaped decoration. Small etched circles added a decorated touch. The top of the lamp had a small looped handle.
At the back of the case there was an interesting oil lamp. It was tan colored with hints of red. The handle looked like the back fin of a whale. Next to the spout was a floral design. Two gazelles with long, thin horns graced the sides of the lamp (http://www. cobb. msstate. edu/museum/). The lamp that stood out the most was a black lamp with four spouts from Rome (Cobb). It was the only displayed lamp with multiple spouts. Two of the spouts were missing, but it was obvious where the missing ones would have been. The two remaining spouts had wide openings. The lamp had protruding triangles between each spout to give the lamp a diamond shape.
All of the oil lamps in Cobb were varied and unique. The replica of the Rosetta Stone was obviously one of the most interesting pieces in the museum. I am ashamed to admit that prior to taking Anthropology, I did not know what the Rosetta Stone was. This very important artifact was made in 196 B. C. It is a shiny black stone with three different sections of writings: ancient Greek, a Demotic script, and Egyptian hieroglyphs (Cobb). The hieroglyphs are at the top of the stone; they were used when writing special documents. The next section was demotic. This language was used for everyday writings.
The final section of the Rosetta Stone was written in Greek. Egyptian rulers used the Greek language at that point in history (http://www. ancientegypt. co. uk/writing/rosetta. html). Even though the Rosetta Stone in the Cobb Museum is a replica, I still understand its significance to archeology and history. The New World Collection also had some interesting pieces. My favorite piece was one of the shell ornaments from the Lyon’s Bluff Collection. It was a flat rounded shell, decorated with four circles inside each other. The outside circle evenly spaced vertical lines going from the outside to the next circle.
These lines made the outside look like flower petals. There were four small circles and small indented dots in the next circle. The next circle had a sunburst shape going around the innermost circle. The inside circle had two holes drilled in it. The shell was beautiful and white. The Scales Collection in the New World section housed pieces from Oktibbeha County (Cobb). There was a group of stone pipes in the Scales Collection case. Two of them were dark gray with decorative line etchings. The rest were mostly basic pipes. There was also a large collection of arrowheads. It thought it was neat that the arrowheads were local.
The group was very varied. Some were short and wide; others were long and skinny. There was a mixture of red, brown, tan, black, and gray arrowheads. Another item in the Scales Collection was a black pot. One of the four small handles was missing. The artist who designed this pit also added indented lines around the rim for decoration. I found these pieces interesting, because they were also locally made artifacts (Cobb). Cobb also had some New World pieces that weren’t made for practical purposes. An artist from Central Mexico carved a frog from a black stone around the time of 300 to 100 B. C. (Cobb).
There was only a fragment of this carving left, but the imagery of a frog is still evident. The laying down frog appears to have large eyes. Central Mexico also produced a clay head that ended up in Cobb Museum. Archeologist dated this artifact around 800 A. D. The head has inverted eyes that caught my attention (Cobb). The small, light brown figure has carved out eyes and mouth. It also has protruding ears and etchings on the back of the head. Artifacts from Mexico are especially interesting to me, because I have spent time there. I have visited multiple ruins in Central America and enjoyed it very much.
The Cobb Museum was very good about the information that it provided. As a visitor that had never been there before, I was very impressed with the lay out of the museum. I was able to tell the difference between Old World and New World artifacts. The labels on the artifacts were also very helpful. It described the artifact very well and it told a lot information that was very helpful when it came to writing this paper. In conclusion, both the Old World and New World have interesting artifacts to offer. I noticed a few differences in the artifacts from the different areas.
The color trend with the Old World artifacts in Cobb Museum was light colored with occasional hints of red. The New World artifacts had more pieces that were dark or even black. The condition of the pieces in Cobb Museum also varied. The majority of the New World pieces seemed to be in better condition than the Old World pieces. Judging by the photographs of the excavation site in Israel, the archeologists did a great job putting the artifacts from there back together with the pieces they found. I found this to be a very interesting project. I am glad I had the opportunity to visit and document Cobb Museum.