1. Introduction

Welcome to the Museum! I’m Adam Aja, a curator here and I’ll be your guide through a few of my favorite places and objects in our exhibit Mediterranean Marketplaces: Connecting the Ancient World.


As we begin, notice the fantastic scene just outside the gallery doors depicting an Egyptian crew unloading a boat’s cargo about 3,500 years ago. This mural is a perfect introduction to the themes of the exhibit. The scene originally appeared as part of a wall painting in a New Kingdom era tomb in Thebes. That’s an ancient city about 500 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient Egyptians were connected to distant markets, almost like consumers shopping on the internet are today. Both basic and precious goods from faraway lands “shipped” to royal palaces, elite estates, and sometimes even rural households.


The movement of goods, peoples, and ideas around the ancient Mediterranean transformed the lives and livelihoods of people at all levels of society, driving innovations that have had lasting impacts—even on the modern world. Enjoy the show.


Your next stop is #2, the life-sized house re-creation you can see just inside the doors to the gallery.