Image: MA1988.16.1 Crab-Claw Necklace, Oceania Collection, Photo: Dr Andrew Hamilton, with permission; MA1965.2.1 Italic Black Glaze Boar, Italia Collection, UNE Museum of Antiquities (UNEMA), Photo: UNE Museum of Antiquities (UNEMA); MA1995.2.3 Small Throwing Club, Oceania Collection Photo: UNE Museum of Antiquities (UNEMA)

Three students in HASS’s Department of Archaeology, Classics and History have helped highlight the value of museum-based projects, using both 3D rendered artefacts and hands-on object-based learning (OBL), for course work and higher degree research (HDR) studies.
Students Andrew Hamilton, Diane Eyre and Julie Webb presented a joint paper to the Annual Meeting of the Mediterranean Archaeology Australasian Research Community (MAARC), from 31 January to 2 February 2022, to share their findings and experience studying artefacts online.  
Their research was undertaken as part of the UNE Museum of Antiquities’ (UNEMA) Significance Projects Program, developed by UNE’s Dr Bronwyn Hopwood, which makes the study of unique and precious artefacts more accessible through a public online platform, that allows the artefacts to be viewed and measured in fine detail.
The students, who studied a crab claw necklace (Hamilton), a black-glazed pottery boar (Eyre) and a Solomon Islands throwing club (Webb), reported on the industry connections they had made with leading cultural institutions and researchers, the subsequent publication of journal articles developed from their work, and their enthusiasm to pursue further museum-based HDR studies. 
The Significance Research Projects proved a popular innovation, with a number of other curators indicating they were keen to implement a similar program.
The students’ paper was presented as part of the conference’s Panel 8 on ‘Museums and Mediterranean Collections in Australasia,’ which aimed to introduce current research and address the ongoing challenges faced by museums and researchers of Mediterranean archaeological collections.