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Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales

Natural History

October 2012

Old Bones for a New Exhibition

Posted by Julian Carter on 3 October 2012

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The Noddle Collection in the condition it was donated to the museum.

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Skulls from the collection being cleaned and prepared for display.

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A selection of the skulls on display.

More than 20 years ago the Museum was donated a large research collection of animal bones. This had been put together by a veterinary scientist, Dr Barbara Noddle. The collection mainly consists of sheep, goat and cattle bones from many different breeds.

When it was donated the collection was in a poor state and required extensive conservation and curation. Today it is now housed in over 600 boxes at our offsite Collection Centre at Nantgarw, and a database is available on the website.

Over the years the Noddle Collection has mainly been used in zoo-archaeological research – this is the study of animal remains found at archaeological sites. However parts of the collection will soon find their way into the exhibition limelight!

From the 13th October ‘The Wolf Inside’ exhibition opens. This will be looking at animal domestication, focusing on dogs but also exploring other animals such as sheep and chickens. And this is where Barbara’s collection of old bones finds a new use. We are using a range of skulls from the collection to show some of the diversity found in the different breeds of sheep. A range of these skulls have been checked over and polished up ready for public display.

Along with the skulls there will also be a whole range of animal specimens on display from the museums collections, many of which we haven’t had the opportunity to bring out for many years.

The exhibition runs until February next year.

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