May 2014

Jacopo and the medals of the Piccirillo collection: the story of a volunteer archaeologist in Jerusalem

Jacopo Gelmi, a young Classical Archaeology graduate from the University of Pavia, is carrying out a 3 month placement as a volunteer at the Archaeological Museum of the Studium Biblicum Franciscanum, in Jerusalem. Here, he talks about his experience:

“The museum has a substantial collection of medals, of all kinds, including military, religious (papal) and commemorative, from all over the world. My job, which I carried out between November and January, along with two other volunteers, Giorgio Lauretta and Beryl Chan, was to record the medals in a database, including all the main data such as their measurements, dating and a descriptive summary. The database also contained photographs of the front and back of the medals. The descriptive element was particularly important, and it had to be very accurate; in fact, it was often useful to carry out some research so I could find some more information on the piece.

I’m currently working on the medals which are part of the Piccirillo Collection, so-called as they were collected by Father Michele Piccirillo, a friar and archaeologist who was also the director of this very museum. They’re really important pieces which range from celebratory to religious medals. In short, I believe that the collaboration of volunteers like us, which allows the museum’s entire collection can be completed and valued, is vital.

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