Big Saturday: Neanderthals
Saturday 30 April
Discover more about Neanderthals, who they were and how they lived, and how research at the University of Manchester is adding to what we know. See objects from the Manchester museum collection and talk to some of the experts who have contributed to the Rediscovering Neanderthals exhibition.
Get hands-on and investigate what a Neanderthal’s skull looks like and compare it to other ancient skull models.
Join us for a variety of activities for all the family.
11am-4pm, drop in, all ages, free
Exploring Representations of Neanderthals in Popular Culture
Sunday 8 May
Book online at mcrmuseum.eventbrite.com or phone 0161 275 2648, free, adults
Early popular culture representations played a significant role in shaping the stereotypical perception of Neanderthals as dim witted and brutish cavemen. This talk by Dr David Kirby, the University of Manchester and author of Lab Coats in Hollywood, will explore how this stereotype remains a prevalent feature in movie, literature, television and comic books but it will also examine how these representations have dramatically changed over the last 150 years alongside our scientific understanding of this species.
Last month’s Urban Naturalist event was hosted by David Winnard, an incredibly knowledgeable local naturalist and expert forager. We were treated to a comprehensive introduction to the poisonous and edible plants and fungi of Greater Manchester.
David began the event with some samples of the sumptuous drinks he produces from foraged ingredients which immediately perked our interests! Not normally known for my adventurous palate I sampled lavender drink which was sublime, with all the other varieties also well received.
Our taste buds tantalised, we were taken on an exploration of the dos and do nots of foraging, guided all the way by David’s expert knowledge and lovely photography. Combined with the examples of goods he had collected that very morning it helped create an immersive experience that was thoroughly enjoyable.
The assembled participants were invited to share stories of different experiences of foraging and identification with near misses and success stories a plenty. I particularly enjoyed the ‘Edible or Deadible’ section of the workshop where we were invited to guess, based on images whether or not a mushroom was toxic. It certainly highlighted my lack of judgment; perhaps more research will be required before I start sampling the local mushrooms.
I would like to on behalf of myself, and all the participants, whole heartedly thank David and Lauren for putting together such an engaging and informative workshop from which we all learnt so much.
This Sunday’s event is the turn of Dr Luke Blazejewski a wildlife filmmaker and conservationist working out of Salford, whose workshop will focus on the relationship between people and nature in cities, and explore ideas around community engagement. He will also be sharing some of his experiences as an urban naturalist, encouraging people to develop new ways of helping communities engage with the wildlife on their doorstep.
Friendly, practical workshops run by leading naturalists. From wild food-foraging and composting to bird song and insect identification, explore biodiversity on our doorstep.
This month’s workshop on Sunday 24 April 2-4pm, will take a look at the relationship between people and nature in cities, and explore ideas around community engagement. Join Dr Luke Blazejewski, a local wildlife photographer and conservationist, who will be sharing some of his experiences as an urban naturalist, and encouraging people to develop new ways of helping communities engage with the wildlife on their doorstep.
The Urban Naturalist is part of Museum Meets, The Manchester Museum’s year round programme for adults.
Sign up to this free workshop via Eventbrite – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-urban-naturalist-tickets-22540664735
On the 31 March the Museum is open for After Hours, where there will be two events where writers and musicians have been inspired by the Museum’s collections.
An evening presentation by Rebecca Hurst, Manchester Museum’s Researcher in Residence. Inspired by the Museum’s 2014-2015 Siberia exhibition, her work has focused on creating and uncovering stories from the Russian Far East. She will read poems and discuss her research on Kate Marsden – a Victorian nurse and explorer, who made a remarkable and controversial trip to Vilyusk in 1897 – and on the fabulous world of the Russian wonder tale.
Sonorous Matter: with Common Objects
When Oskar Fischinger met John Cage he talked about a spirit that lives inside each of the world’s objects, and said that what we need to do to liberate that spirit is to brush past the object and draw forth its sound. The musicians from Common Objects will each research and engage with collections from three museums: Manchester Museum, Pitt Rivers Museum and Durham University Oriental Museum. They will identify objects that once made sound to form the basis of new scores to be performed by the ensemble. Ranging from the Neolithic to the present day, the objects will form a creative resource for re-imagining sonic possibilities.
This will result in six new commissions, one by each member of the ensemble. The museums have been chosen for their breadth of specialties: Science and Technology, the Oriental and Postcolonial, Anthropology and the Neolithic. In engaging with artifacts, Sonorous Matter will seek to identify and stimulate new relationships and resonances between the composers’ sound work and the objects’ histories.
This project takes contemporary music out of the concert hall and presents it in an innovative setting to reach new audiences that would not necessarily have encountered this form of music. Musicians John Butcher – saxophones Angharad Davies -violin Rhodri Davies – electric harp Lina Lapelyte – violin Lee Patterson – amplified devices and processes Pat Thomas – electronics
Funded by ACE and presented with Sound and Music, the National Charity for New Music
Book you ticket at www.eventbrite.com/e/common-objects-sonorous-matter-tickets-20074085129
This month’s Urban Naturalist on March 27, 2-4pm, will be presented by David Winnard (of Discoverthewild.co.uk) one of the most respected foragers and naturalists in the North of England.
In this workshop he will explore the edible, medicinal and poisonous plants and fungi found in the Greater Manchester area. We will learn how to locate and identify them from one and other safely. How to forage sustainably and what laws we need to be aware of.
Looking at between 40 and 50 different species this should prove to be a comprehensive session.
David will also bring along some examples of locally foraged plants and fungi and teach you the art of foraged mocktails, non-alcoholic drinks made from foraged ingredients.
Sign up for this event via: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-urban-naturalist-tickets-20071881538
Urban Naturalist are friendly, practical workshops run by leading naturalists. From wild food-foraging and composting to bird song and insect identification, explore biodiversity on our doorstep.
Moths & Butterflies: Night and Day
The Urban Naturalist February edition was hosted in the Collection Study Centre by Dr Michael Dockery, who is one of our resident entomologists at The Manchester Museum.
We explored survival strategies found within several species of moths, including some species masquerading as bird droppings and those that blend perfectly into their environment.
Michael had also brought some fascinating examples of moths and butterflies from the museum’s collection to give us a close up view, including the largest species of butterfly in the world – Queen Alexandra’s birdwing (Ornithoptera alexandrae). This certainly trumped the largest British species the swallow tail (Papilio machao) for size, but perhaps not in beauty!
We also had the opportunity to try our hand at working out the distribution of wingspan variance within a population of moths!
I think I can speak for the rest of the participants in wholeheartedly thanking Michael for his fun and informative session; I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and certainly learnt a lot.
For those interested in getting involved in future Urban Naturalist sessions please visit the events page on the Museum Website:
Sign up via our Eventbrite page:
Or Keep an eye on our social media platforms:
Twitter – @mcrmuseum
Join us at the Museum for a mix of adult events
Saturday 27 February, 4.30pm: Rock Music
“We love the idea that the sound of handaxes being made provided the percussion of
everyday life for over a million years. We can’t help thinking that when these rhythms are
abstracted into electronic music they will evoke something distant yet familiar.”
Following an artist residency at Manchester Museum, as part of the University of
Manchester, Owl Project have become fascinated by the Museum’s prehistoric stone tool
collection and how it resonates with modern technology.
In Rock Music, Owl Project will tune 5,000 years back in time to reclaim one of the oldest
known creative processes: Flint Knapping. Making sharp tools from stone such as flint, or
‘Knapping’ is acknowledged as one of the earliest human processes. With the support,
advice and guidance of archaeologists, the collective intend to closely examine the rhythms
and movements associated with the practice of making stone tools.
Rock Music will celebrate the prehistoric method of making stone tools through a live
reenactment. Working with primitive technologist Karl Lee and experimental archeologists
they have developed a set of augmented tools, new sensor and audio technology, which
they will use to detect movement and sounds from the processes of knapping. During the
performance, a flint knapper will make a hand axe and the process will be transformed into a
live electronic music performance courtesy of Owl Project.
The performance is free to attend. Please RSVP Bianca@invisibledust.com Owl Project is
kindly supported by Manchester Museum and Invisible Dust.
Sunday 28 February, 2-4pm: Urban Naturalist
Urban Naturalist is our friendly, practical workshops run by leading naturalists. From wild food-foraging and composting to bird song and insect identification, explore biodiversity on our doorstep.
This month the workshop will be led by Dr Michael Dockery one of our resident Moth experts, who will teach this interactive and entertaining session. Topics will cover Moth camouflage, variation and even the opportunity to design your own Mancunian Moth.
It’s free but you can book a ticket on mcrmuseum.eventbrite.com or ring 0161 275 2648
Tuesday 1 March, 1-2.30pm English Corner
Drop by for some English Conversation practise with English Corner. Free
Tuesday 1 March, 2-3pm Collection Bites
The Ancient Egyptians appeased their gods with a range of offerings; Curator of Egypt and Sudan Dr Campbell Price explains how and why.
It’s free but you can book a ticket on mcrmuseum.eventbrite.com or ring 0161 275 2648