Dr Adrian Ryan and Mr Andrew Law at the display
cabinet, aptly named the Law Collection, after the
donor, Ms Joan Law.

The Classics Museum has dedicated a small display cabinet, aptly named the Law Collection and housing prized artefacts, to a generous benefactor, the late Ms Joan Law, who has made donations to the museum over the years.

Among those at the dedication function were her cousin, Mr Andrew Law, who spoke fondly of her and her love for Classical Archaeology.

Former museum curator Dr Adrian Ryan said Law had been a ‘most consistent and generous benefactor who had donated money over many years and through whose assistance the museum was able to acquire its own pieces’.

The list of artefacts secured includes a selection of five Roman coins, a Roman bronze military diploma, and two fragments from anthropoid Egyptian sarcophagoi – a piece of wood with hieroglyphics painted on it and a fragment of cartonnage.

Speaking about the importance of the collection in the museum’s history, Ryan said: ‘The pieces in the Law Collection are without doubt my favourite – after all I got to choose them myself.  Although they are quite modest compared with some of the artefacts in Cairo and the Antikensammlungen, ours is a teaching museum, and the interesting stories these pieces tell make them useful tools for bringing to life the history and culture of the civilisations we study.

‘Law’s legacy will continue here in the display cabinet housing the artefacts we acquired through her generous support, and it is my hope that they will continue to be used for the purpose for which they were intended – to inform, to delight, and to help ignite in new students an interest in the ancient world, so that its study survives at UKZN,’ said Ryan.

Melissa Mungroo