‘The Nineveh Medical Encyclopaedia’ is a 2,600-year-old handbook for medicine containing thousands of descriptions of diseases and symptoms, together with therapeutic prescriptions. It’s currently being translated into English as part of a Wellcome Trust funded project – Researcher Krisztian Simko takes a closer look at the story of ancient medicine, and some of the complaints and cures listed in the ancient Mesopotamian encyclopedia.
30 November 2021
8 April 2020
Newly appointed Trustee Mary Beard introduces you to her top five objects in the collection, and reveals a moment in the Museum that started her journey to becoming Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge
17 September 2018
The Private Eye editor talks about a handful of favourite objects from his new exhibition.
27 September 2017
Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow takes us behind the scenes of the Museum’s latest exhibition.
22 September 2017
Find out what a dental anthropologist does all day, and how tooth decay can lead to exciting new discoveries.
21 July 2017
Curator St John Simpson explores how the Museum’s collection of postcards from the port city of Aden in Yemen capture snapshots of social history.
19 July 2017
The Museum’s objects from Egypt span from prehistory to the present. In 2016 the modern Egypt project was launched to bring the collection into the 21st century. Objects from housewares and everyday items to ephemera and photographs can tell stories about historical, economic and cultural developments in Egypt over the past century.
3 July 2017
Assistant Collections Manager George Benson talks about hoisting the Rainbow Flag over the British Museum for Pride, and why its importance isn’t just restricted to LGBTQ people.
31 May 2017
Julia Farley, Curator of British and European Iron Age Collections, joins Iszi Lawrence to examine the early years of the Roman conquest, when allegiances were shifting rapidly. Highlighting extraordinary objects and fascinating characters, Julia and Iszi’s discussion brings the period to life.
31 May 2017
London’s history has always been closely connected to the River Thames, one of the UK’s longest and deepest rivers. On London History Day, Jennifer Wexler, Digital Research Project Producer, dredges up some of the fascinating objects found in this famous river.
24 May 2017
Did you know that the Museum has a conservation studio just for East Asian paintings? The Hirayama Studio opened in 1994 and continues to use traditional techniques to preserve, protect and display these amazing works. Here, student Matthias Sotiras writes about his five months spent in this unique work environment.
17 May 2017
Desire, love, identity is a small exhibition that draws selectively from across the breadth of the Museum’s vast collection to highlight LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) histories that have until recently been overlooked or underrepresented in museums and galleries.
10 May 2017
People are living longer than ever before and society is constantly reevaluating what it means to be ‘old’. Exhibition Curator Tim Clark reveals why Hokusai: beyond the Great Wave focuses on the last 30 years of the artist’s extraordinarily long life.
29 April 2017
For International Tabletop Day 2017, British Museum curator Irving Finkel challenged YouTuber Tom Scott to a round of the oldest playable board game in the world – The Royal Game of Ur – a game Irving discovered and deciphered the rules to himself.
20 April 2017
A major find where a musical instrument has been a key player. Treasure Registrar Ian Richardson has composed a little something to explain why this is literally hidden treasure!
12 April 2017
There are plenty of cats depicted in Museum objects, but did you know that real cats used to live at the Museum? Digital Creative Producer Nick Harris takes us through his podcast on this surprising aspect of the Museum’s history.
1 April 2017
Take a closer look at five fakes, forgeries and things designed to fool in the Museum’s collection. Only a fool would fail to read this…
28 March 2017
Curator Nick Ashton discusses the earliest human occupation of Britain with Iszi Lawrence.
27 March 2017
To celebrate Global Money Week, Curator of the Citi Money Gallery Benjamin Alsop unpacks the sometimes weird, sometimes wonderful, but always fascinating world of money.
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.
3 March 2017
For several years, the destruction of heritage sites in Iraq and Syria by Daesh (so-called Islamic State)* has filled the news. In response, the British Museum has been training Iraqi archaeologists in emergency heritage management.
22 February 2017
Famous for far longer than 15 minutes, a lot has been said about Andy Warhol already. But whether you’re an art novice or a world expert, you might just learn something new about ‘the Pope of pop art’.
21 February 2017
Historian and author of She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth Helen Castor joins Iszi Lawrence in a discussion on the ‘most famous French teenager in history’ (according to Iszi).
10 February 2017
The project to conserve Dürer’s Triumphal Arch reaches the next stage. Sam Taylor takes technical photographs of the sheets discovering long-hidden details in the handmade paper, delicately unpicks old glue and gives the work a bath.
26 January 2017
As the year of the rooster approaches, the Chinese scroll mounters in the Hirayama Studio have plenty to crow about…
17 January 2017
Over 50 years ago, excavations near the town of Jericho revealed a mysterious human skull. But it was only recently that Museum researchers have been able to learn more about the person behind the plaster, thanks to modern technology.
15 January 2017
Today we relaunch the British Museum blog. But why today? Find out how our history connects past, present and future, and watch Hartwig Fischer, Director of the Museum, explain a bit about the Museum and its role in an ongoing global conversation.
14 January 2017
You may think you know the British Museum, but there’s always more to discover. Here, we highlight a few secrets to delight and surprise even the most enthusiastic Museum fan. Never afraid to jump on a bandwagon, we’ve compiled a handy listicle of some of the weird and wonderful facts that make the British Museum unique. Maybe you knew it all already? If you did, you probably work here already…
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.
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.
27 August 2015
Amelia Dowler discusses the mystery of the Fetter Lane hoard, and how coins minted in Alexandria, Egypt between AD 58 and AD 284 ended up in Roman Britannia.
3 August 2015
Whilst carrying out a student placement Lauren Buttle, a candidate for a Masters of Art Conservation at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, was involved in the first stage of the conservation process of Albrect Dürer’s Triumphal Arch, assisting in cleaning the 3.5 m x 3 m, 16th- century print.
3 July 2015
The project to conserve Dürer’s Triumphal Arch reaches the next stage. Ivor Kerslake and Joanna Russel lset out to take a series of high-resolution images as well as infrared and ultraviolet imaging to reveal information about the work, vital for the next stage in the conservation process.
8 December 2014
Carole Weiss and Jin Xian Qiu reveal the work that took place behind the scenes in the Hirayama Studio to prepare a Ming dynasty silk painting by artist Zhu Bang to go on display.
5 December 2014
To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, the British Museum loaned the sculpture of the river-god Ilissos from the West pediment of the Parthenon. Neil MacGregor, Director of The British Museum shares some of the history of the long standing friendship between the first great museums of the European Enlightenment.
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.
6 November 2014
Clarissa von Spee explains the significance of German expressionist sculptor Ernst Barlach’s most important work, Der Schwebende (The Hovering), and how the work managed to survive the First World War. On display as part of the exhibition Germany: memories of a nation, 16 October 2014 to 25 January 2015.
12 September 2014
In preparation for The Asahi Shimbun Display of Dürer’s paper triumph: the arch of the Emperor Maximilian a team of specialists gathered to move the famous woodcut of the Triumphal Arch by Albrecht Dürer. Joanna Kosek describes how they managed to move and dismantle the print over the course of one night.
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.
11 April 2014
One of the most recent acquisitions made by the Department of Coins and Medals is a highly unusual object – an ancient punch or ‘die’ used to manufacture coins in the second century BC. Curators Ian Leins and Emma Morris hope the ‘die’ will shed new light on when the first coins were made in Britain.
7 February 2014
In May 2013 a team of scientists led by the British Museum, Natural History Museum and Queen Mary University of London discovered a series of footprints left by early humans in ancient estuary mud over 800,000 years ago at Happisburgh, Norfolk. Nicholas Ashton, Curator of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic collections at the British Museum has been working on the Happisburgh Palaeolithic excavations.
31 January 2014
At over 37 metres long, Roskilde 6, the highlight of the BP exhibition Vikings: life and legend is the longest Viking ship ever discovered. In this blog Tom Williams talks us through the challenges of installation of this nature.
9 July 2013
Jago Cooper has just returned from an exploratory research visit to the uninhabited national park on the island of Mona in Puerto Rico. In this blog, Jago details his findings which were rather unexpected.
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.
10 January 2012
The Hallaton helmet was shown in public today for the first time since it was buried 2,000 years ago. JD Hill reveals to us the significance of this discovery and the work behind the scenes that has led up to its display.
14 December 2011
In 2011 when only a few months earlier a hoard of over 90 coins and hacksilver was discovered in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, a second discovery of a Viking silver hoard was unearthed in Silverdale, Lancashire. Ian Richardson talks about what happened when the two Viking silver hoards were discovered.