Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dura Europos Pottery at Yale

This is just a brief post to say that I've been enjoying looking at images of the pottery from Dura Europos that is now at the Yale University Art Gallery. At the time of writing, you can get to it by following this link. If that doesn't work try "Syrian, Dura-Europos" in the culture field and "Containers - Ceramic" in the classification field.

The Gallery's database is pretty nice. I'll give its URLs for addressing individual records a B+. Here's an example: http://ecatalogue.art.yale.edu/detail.htm?objectId=3432 . It would be better if that were something like http://art.yale.edu/objectid/3432 , but I'm a quibbler for good looking identifiers.

Sometimes the information is limited. For example, 1938.5011 is definitely Eastern Sigillata A, and 1938.4969 looks to be African Red Slip. I do hesitate to identify from images, but again 1938.4980 sure looks like ARS.

The above is not a complaint. Similarly to many online museum databases, Yale displays the following text with each record:
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery's complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.
It's great that museums aren't hiding their data just because it's incomplete or incorrect. It's more useful just to put it out there so interested folk like me can have fun browsing.