Clayton Museum unveils new exhibit

By Eliza Rohda

YORK — The Clayton Museum of Ancient History has a new addition — a temporary exhibit titled “The Ancient Greeks: Founders of the Classical World” is now open to visitors. Dr. Tim McNeese and Dr. Terry Seufferlein led the effort to create the exhibit, which had its debut during the Equip Conference.

Dr. Seufferlein had been wanting the museum to highlight Ancient Greece for some time, as he noted that many other ancient cultures are represented throughout the collection. The Romans, the Persians and other historically significant civilizations are present, but until now, less attention had been given to the Greeks. The arrival of this exhibit brings information covering hundreds of influential years, and combined with the rest of the museum, it will give visitors a more complete picture of ancient life. A large percentage of the museum is dedicated to the Roman Empire, and as Dr. McNeese put it, “Without the Greeks, we wouldn’t have had the Romans.”

 The previous exhibit was originally set to be replaced before the pandemic, but when Covid-19 hit, plans stalled. Then the summer of 2023 was approaching  and Dr. Seufferlein happened to be scheduled to speak at a conference in — you guessed it — Greece. He was tasked with buying pieces for the new exhibit while he was there, with Dr. McNeese weighing in on each purchase over the phone. Putting his confidence in Dr. Seufferlein, Dr. McNeese simply said, “Text me when you find cool stuff!”

 While in Greece, Dr. Seufferlein was able to find several valuable pieces, such as an exact replica of the Mask of Agamemnon which is on display in the National Archeological Museum in Athens. The collection also includes a replica of the bust of Pericles, Greek pottery, and ancient Greek coins. Lining the walls are various signs, authored by Dr. McNeese and Dr. Seufferlein, detailing the history and significance of the Greek people. The recently retired Dr. McNeese never really stopped working and spent hours assembling the displays. Eric Tremaine, director of facilities, was instrumental in the process, and his expertise in maintenance pulled the exhibit together. In the time leading up to the exhibit’s debut, he could be found in the museum after hours and on weekends, working to perfect the displays for the incoming visitors.

The teamwork paid off, and by March 11, “The Ancient Greeks” was ready to open to the public. Equip Conference attendees were the first to see it, and their positive responses will not be the last—over the next couple of years, visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to enjoy this insight into ancient Greek culture.

The Clayton Museum of Ancient History collects, researches, preserves, exhibits and interprets objects with a special focus on the ancient world. It features the C. Foster Stanback Collection with displays including artifacts from the Ancient Near East and Rome.

Guests of all ages are welcome. Tours are available, including school and church groups. The current museum hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

 

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