In each episode of ‘Thinking with Things: The Oxford Collection Podcasts’, a prominent academic unpicks the story behind a single object in the Ashmolean that relates to their research.
Professor Bray’s object is the ‘Tombstone of a Muslim girl’, a carved marble stone that marked the burial of a young girl in the 11th century. She explores what the tombstone tells us about people’s feelings about death and the dead in North Africa a thousand years ago.
These specially curated podcasts are intended to encourage visitors to seek out their own hidden treasure in the Ashmolean’s vast collection. Others in the current series include Professor Dame Hermione Lee discussing the painting Ennui by Walter Richard Sickert, astrophysicist Professor Chris Lintott on a 19th-century silver-gilt carriage clock, and gerontologist Professor Sarah Harper on an Egyptian child mummy. There are plans to release more in the coming months, with academics ranging from theology to medical sciences and primary care.