3 December is International Day of Disabled Persons. To mark the occasion, we’re exploring some ongoing research into the history of disability in the collection through six objects selected by staff and volunteers.
3 December 2020
27 October 2020
Senior scientist Caroline Cartwright explores how these fascinating objects were made, and what they can tell us about the people they portray.
23 July 2020
Journey back nearly 1,000 years and travel up the Nile to explore the medieval Nubian city of Kulubnarti – now in the north of modern-day Sudan.
26 June 2018
This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Joyce Tyldesley and explores the creation of a cultural icon, from its ancient origins to its modern context: its discovery, its display, and its dual role as a political pawn and artistic inspiration.
25 May 2018
As part of the Pleasant vices series, food historian Tasha Marks invited brewers Michaela Charles and Susan Boyle to help her recreate a 5,000-year-old beer.
1 March 2018
New research has revealed the world’s earliest figural tattoos on two natural mummies in the British Museum, including the oldest known example of female tattooing.
13 February 2018
For Valentine’s Day, we’ve compiled 14 sensational smooches and other symbols of love from around the world. Pucker up…
9 October 2017
Playwright, producer and director Patricia Cumper is also a British Museum Trustee. Here, she looks at what Black History Month has meant to her, and how the British Museum can help to tell these stories to the world.
15 July 2017
Ilona Regulski is Curator of Egyptian Written Culture at the British Museum. This includes looking after one of the most iconic objects in the world! Here, she shares what she has learnt since becoming the latest custodian of the Rosetta Stone.
14 July 2017
You’ve probably heard of the Rosetta Stone. It’s one of the most famous objects in the British Museum, but what actually is it? Take a closer look…
15 March 2017
How do you capture the ancient resonances of phrases that mean nothing to modern audiences? How do you invest them with meaning and emotion without a set of explanatory footnotes that kill all spontaneity? Oxford University professor Richard Bruce Parkinson worked with actress and writer Barbara Ewing to record a dramatic reading of one of the finest works of Egyptian poetry The Tale of Sinuhe.
9 January 2017
The hidden colours of an ancient Egyptian coffin are revealed through a combination of analysis and non-invasive multispectral imaging techniques. Here Joanne Dyer and Nicola Newman shed light on the process.
5 February 2016
Bink Hallum and Marcel Marée discuss hieroglyphic texts on display in the Egypt: faith after the pharaohs exhibition and in particular the 18th-century copy of the Book of the Seven Climes.
4 January 2016
The exhibition Egypt: faith after the pharaohs, examines religious identity in the first millennium AD, when Egypt became first a majority Christian population and later, Muslim. Today, Egyptian Christians, or Copts, are a significant minority. The extraordinary collections of the British Museum allow us to explore religious identities in Egypt up to the present, here through contemporary photography.
19 November 2014
Computer 3D technology is being increasingly adopted in museums to aid with conservation, curatorial research and interpretation. Here Matthew Cock explains how scans of the British Museum’s collection of Assyrian reliefs take by a team CyArk provide a fantastic resource that we can use to help people better understand and engage with these objects.
31 July 2014
Colourful beads for collars and wigs or earrings? Anna Hodgkinson has been updating over 200 of the Collections online record of items of glass jewellery from the New Kingdom in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan.
26 June 2014
Due to the nature of human remains from ancient Egypt and Nubia, evidence for tattooing is scarce. However in the Ancient lives, new discoveries exhibition, one of the mummies on display is so well preserved the British Museum has located a tattoo and other marks on her skin. Marie Vandenbeusch discusses the significance of this discovery.
12 June 2014
Alexandra Fletcher discusses some of the ethical and practical issues associated with caring for and displaying human remains in the British Museum collection.
2 June 2014
Amandine Mérat and Emily Taylor have been working on reordering the Museum’s Egyptian textiles collection not by provenance or date but by technique. By conducting a close visual examination of technique, and drawing on knowledge of their cultural background, they hope to determine the possible original function of many of the textiles.
17 March 2014
Cancer is one of the world’s most common causes of death today, but there is little evidence from before industrialisation: almost nothing is known about the history of the disease in the past. Michaela Binder and Neal Spencer discuss illuminating new evidence of early human cancer.
13 December 2012
Researcher Michaela Binder reflects on four months of analysis on skeletons from the ancient Egyptian town of Amara West, and what this new research can tell us about how they lived.
16 November 2012
This year, British Museum curators have collaborated with scientists and medical experts to perform a CT scan of a naturally-preserved mummy know as the Gebelein Man. Detailed images created from the scans’ high resolution X-rays allow us to look inside his body and learn about his life – and death – in ways never before possible. Daniel Antoine tells us what we have been able to discover about the Gebelein Man.
2 November 2012
Following our post last week about a cross-cultural statue of Horus, British Museum scientist, Joanne Dyer explains how we know what he once looked like.
26 October 2012
While preparing the limestone sculpture of Horus for display, Curator Elisabeth R. O’Connell had a chance to work with British Museum Scientist Joanne Dyer to identify some of the pigments that were used on the sculpture. Along with some additional analysis using an innovative imaging technique to detect pigment in areas not visible to the naked eye, the pair was able to suggest a colour reconstruction. Here Elisabeth discusses the outcome.
22 September 2010
John Taylor is the curator of the ‘Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead’ exhibition, a hugely popular programme that opened at the British Museum in November, 2010. In this article he expands on one of the most popular and fascinating objects to have appeared: The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead.