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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Specimen of the Week 307: The Euston Mammoth

By ucwehlc, on 8 September 2017

This week’s specimen has only recently entered the Grant Museum, and as soon as I saw it I wanted to know more. I did a little digging and this is what I found: Specimen of the Week is…

Z3360 Euston Mammoth Ivory

LDUCZ-Z3360 Euston mammoth ivory

**The Euston Mammoth**


Specimen of the Week 209: Mammoth tusk

By Tannis Davidson, on 12 October 2015

LDUCZ-Z2978 Elephantidae

LDUCZ-Z2978 Mammuthus primigenius

This week’s Specimen of the Week is one of the first objects to be seen upon entering the Museum. Majestically, it sits just behind the front desk cradled in a graceful arc of perfect balance and symmetry. It is the largest fossil in the Grant Museum’s collection and although incomplete, measures over 1.7m in length.  What a beaut!  This week’s specimen is…



Mammalian megafauna

By Dean W Veall, on 31 May 2013

Mammoth hair

Mammoth hair

Megafauna, what a great word, it will feature prominently throughout this blog. By far the most popular extinct megafauna with the public are the megafauna of the reptilian variety, dinosaurs, pterosaurs and marine reptiles like icthyosaurs. But coming a close second in the megafauna popularity stakes are the mammalian megafauna in fact I would go as far as to say they are even the second most popular extinct fauna (sorry all those lovers of underwhelming fossil fish).  The mammalian megafauna are the stars of a new BBC2 natural history documentary Ice Age Giants fronted by Dr. Alice Roberts. (more…)

Culture Vulture: Ice Age Art: arrival of the modern mind at the British Museum

By Mark Carnall, on 8 May 2013

Culture Vulture: A vulture skull in UCL Art Museum

Culture Vulture: A vulture skull in UCL Art Museum

This is the second of our Culture Vulture exhibition reviews (the first is here) As I mentioned in an earlier article about whether a degree in museum studies was worth it it’s very important for museum professionals in all kinds of roles to not just act as guardians of material culture but also to go out and consume it. Visiting exhibitions is a great way to ummm ‘borrow’ ideas in exhibition design and if an exhibition is doing its job well then you’ll come away with a mind full of new thoughts and ideas.

I’ve been along to Ice Age Art: arrival of the modern mind at the British Museum and was excited to see how the museum would interpret a narrative which is equal parts natural history, archaeology and art history. When it comes to academia it seems that humans love to find ways of boxing in disciplines and practices rather than accept that they are all interconnected. This can be seen in the names of departments, museums and the conferences that we attend but in my opinion it’s cross disciplinary interactions that can be the most interesting. Two big camps, traditionally pitched as antagonists are ‘Art’ and ‘Science’. Does Ice Age Art cater for both of these audiences or has one group (you have to carry a card) had more of a say? (more…)