Talking Memory Workshop

octopus jar

Jar with octopus motif (AN1911.608) © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (image)

Part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones for the future 

Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities.


Tickets: Tickets are free of charge, but booking is required. Register here.


Join Cathy O’Brien, a DPhil researcher at the School of Archaeology, as we delve into the ancient Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations through the Octopus Jar found at the Palace of Minos at Knossos. Ponder the themes of remembering and re-imagining the past, storing memories, and the role of materials in learning. Afterwards we will dig into our own stored memories and make our own decorative clay jars.

With Dr. Jim Harris, Teaching Curator, Alexis Gorby, DPhil researcher School of Archaeology, and Ashmolean Public Engagement Research Associates

Talking Memory is a series of afternoon events for older visitors (65+) exploring the theme of memory using objects from the museum’s collections, new research from the University, creative engagement…and tea.

Each workshop will start in the public galleries, with a short talk and discussion focused on one object and led by an Oxford researcher. We will continue the conversation over tea and cake, taking time to meet other group members, before we go to make our own versions of the objects we have seen and heard about.

The events are free, including refreshments and materials for the art activities, but booking is required as space is limited.

No previous artistic experience is required, coffee is available as well as tea, and everyone 65+ is welcome.

Although the workshops take place in accessible parts of the Ashmolean, please let us know when booking of any special requirements or food allergies.

You may sign up for a single event or as many as you wish.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact

This series of events is generously supported by TORCH, as part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, and the Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund, as part of Oxford’s PER Seed Fund.