Annual Museum Event Draws a Crowd

Hosted by the Clayton Museum of Ancient History, the third annual Ides of March dinner and lecture event was enjoyed by a sell-out crowd on Thursday, March 21. This year’s theme for the event was “Enemy at the Gate: The Siege of Constantinople” and focused on the pivotal battle in 1453 that marked the end of the Roman Empire.

​The evening began with a visit to the Clayton Museum of Ancient History hosted by the Junior Docents Legion, a group of knowledgeable history enthusiasts ages 8-16. Junior Docents gave presentations on different museum artifacts under the direction of volunteer coordinator Becky Williams. Guests visited the museum to view the collection, explore the Little Kingdom children’s interactive exhibit, and learn from the Junior Docents’ research.

PictureJunior Docent Zoey Eckert talks about artifacts in the Clayton Museum
Attendees then assembled in the Miller Room for the dinner and lecture portion of the event. Dr. Tim McNeese, professor of history and department chair at York College, presented on the final battle for the ancient Roman empire. The thrilling lecture explored the lead up to the last battle for Constantinople, the personalities involved, and the technology (heavy cannon) that made the difference. McNeese also talked about the after-effects of the turning point conflict, including the European Renaissance. 

The evening included a menu inspired by mediterranean cuisine, including Egyptian barley salad, lamb merguez with Israeli couscous, grilled lemon yogurt chicken, basmati rice, curried eggplant, roasted thyme carrots, and a dessert of baklava.  

The Clayton Museum recognized sponsors, volunteers, and advisory council members for the success of the Ides of March event, which they plan to repeat next March.​

Mark your calendars now for the fall event for the museum, the Archaeology and the Bible symposium, September 17. Dr. Mark Meehl, professor of Theology at Concordia University, will present on the Philistines from 7-9 p.m. Dr. Meehl served as a research fellow at the Albright Institute in Jerusalem for two years and has worked on archeological digs in Syria, Jordan and at Tel Miqne-Ekron in Israel. At Concordia, Meehl teaches Biblical Hebrew courses, introductory courses on the Old and New Testament and classes on the Intertestamental Period, as well as Ancient Near Eastern History, the Modern Middle East and Syro-Palestinian Archaeology. Every three years, Dr. Meehl leads a study tour to Israel and is in the process of publishing his second book. 

The archaeology speaker series is offered free and is open to the public. More information will be available closer to the event.