skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

Beheading the Body

Beheading the Body

A temporary display curated by Tulsi Parikh and Hanneke Reijnierse-Salisbury, in Bay C

 

What's in a head? This curated cabinet isn’t so much about the body beheaded as about the head disembodied. It brings together images in different media, and from different contexts, which share an interest in the head as represented independently from the body. Cultures all over the world see the head, and the face, as the seat of identity – it is, after all, usually the most readily identifiable part of our bodies.

Idealised female heads on Greek pottery, snarling monsters, merry satyrs, masks in the shape of wrinkled old women... Look beyond the full-bodied sculptures - the Doryphoros, for instance, standing next to the display cabinet in Bay C - and isolated heads abound in classical archaeology. But explore the Roman portraits in Bay J, and viewers will find that these questions are not restricted to tiny remnants of broken pottery but are to be grappled with throughout the Cast Gallery as a whole. Many of the bodies represented in this collection are fragmented, some by accidents of survival but others very deliberately.

How does viewing just a head concentrate the mind on questions of identity and personhood? And why are those identities often so very hard to pin down...? The significance of all these heads cannot be singular: its meaning must be multiple, shifting through different examples and contexts.

 

beheading the body cabinet

 

Grads Curate Logo

Beheading the Body is part of our Grads Curate programme, showcasing research from the Faculty of Classics' graduate students.

 

 

Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge


Every cast tells two stories.

One ancient. One modern.

Admission is free.

 

Coronovirus Update: Temporary Closure of the Museum of Classical Archaeology from Wednesday 18 March

We are very sad to announce that the Museum of Classical Archaeology will be closing from 5pm today, Tuesday 17 March 2020 until further notice.

More information and updates...

 

Opening hours

Tues-Fri: 10am-5pm
Sat: 10am-1pm (univ. term time only)
Sun and Monday: Closed

Closed on Bank Holidays


Saturday Opening

We are currently closed on Saturdays. We are only open on Saturdays during University of Cambridge term time. Saturday opening begins again on Saturday 25 April 2020.

 

Easter Closure

We are closing for Easter. We will close at 5pm on Thursday 9 April and reopen at 10am on Tuesday 14 April.

 

Visit us

Museum of Classical Archaeology
Faculty of Classics
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge
CB3 9DA

We do not have an entrance on the road. Find us inside the Sidgwick Site.

 

Join our mailing list



Get in touch

Tel. +44 (0)1223 330402
Email



All images and material on our websites are ©Museum of Classical Archaeology, University of Cambridge unless otherwise stated. Permission is required to reproduce our images.

See also our Copyright Notice and Take Down Policy.

 

TripAdvisor