Ancient Old World Collections

Ancient Egyptian senet board fragment from ASM's permanent collections.

Ancient Egyptian senet board fragment from ASM's permanent collections

Arizona State Museum’s Ancient Mediterranean Collections

Though ASM is a museum devoted to the cultures of the American Southwest, the collections also include more than 500 accessioned ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman objects, as well as a large Egyptian pottery typology collection collected by George A. Reisner. The vast majority of this collection was acquired in the early days of the museum’s history from its founding in 1893 to around 1950 through exchanges, donations, and, less commonly, purchases. It comprises Near Eastern cuneiform tablets and an Assyrian relief; Egyptian ceramics, faience amulets, beads, and shabtis, wooden and limestone objects, cartonnage, animal mummies; Etruscan and Italic ceramics and bronzes; Greek pottery, lamps and coins; Roman pottery, lamps, glass vessels, coins, and miscellaneous objects. 

Dr. Irene Bald Romano, curator of Mediterranean archaeology.

Dr. Irene Bald Romano, curator of Mediterranean archaeology

Dr. Irene Bald Romano is the Curator of Mediterranean Archaeology in the Arizona State Museum, Professor of Art History in the School of Art, and Professor of Anthropology in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. She also holds affiliated status in the Department of Religious Studies and Classics and in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. She earned a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Classical Archaeology and has excavated at sites in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Her research has largely focused on the analysis of archaeological objects, especially Greek and Roman sculpture, and she is the author or co-author of six books and numerous articles. She has worked in archaeology and anthropology museums for most of her career, first at the University of Pennsylvania. Since her arrival at the Arizona State Museum in 2012, Dr. Romano has engaged with students and other scholars to explore and disseminate information about the relatively unknown “Old World” collections of ASM through lectures, class visits, projects on ASM’s website, exhibits, and scholarly publications. A recent publication in a German Egyptological journal, jointly with colleagues in conservation, tree-ring and radiocarbon research, and Egyptian philology, discusses a previously unknown inscribed fragment of an ancient Egyptian game board in ASM’s collection. She is currently working on a book on the portraiture of Alexander the Great, inspired by an unpublished marble head of Alexander the Great excavated at Beth Shean (Israel) in the 1920s. Dr. Romano is also a member of a German-American team of researchers studying Nazi Era confiscations and restitution cases and is the leader the working group on the unstudied issue of what happened to antiquities in Europe and Middle East during the period from 1933 to 1945.

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Irene Bald Romano, Ph.D.
Curator of Mediterranean Archaeology
Professor of Art History
Professor of Anthropology
Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Religious Studies and Classics

Arizona State Museum / University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210026
Tucson, AZ  85721-0026

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