In this blog post, curator Jamie Fraser and scientist Caroline Cartwright run you through the archaeology and science involved in tracking down an ancient olive oil factory, and explain how the process of making modern olive oil would be familiar to people in the past.
26 November 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.
20 May 2020
Several ancient Egyptian coffins and mummy cases have been found covered in a mysterious ‘black goo’. Dr Kate Fulcher, Research Assistant in the Museum’s Department of Scientific Research, explores what is this goo is made from, why it may have been used and what it can reveal about Egyptian funerary practice.
10 May 2020
Scientific researcher Capucine Korenberg zooms in on Hokusai’s world-famous wave and explores how subtle changes in the impressions and design can tell us about the making of this masterpiece.
5 May 2020
From Michelangelo to mirror caskets, our conservators continue the centenary celebrations for the Departments of Collection Care and Scientific Research by sharing the projects they’re working on.
10 March 2020
From stitching silk to X-ray scanning, find out what goes into conserving a sacred object before it goes on display in Tantra: enlightenment to revolution.
9 March 2020
We’re all familiar with dust. We’ve seen it gathering on windowsills or on the tops of cupboards, but what exactly is it? And how do we keep the Museum dust-free? Our Conservation and Scientific Research teams zoom in on the microscopic world of dust, and explain how they work to help preserve the Museum’s collection.
12 February 2020
To kick off the centenary year of the Departments of Scientific Research and Collection Care, we look back on some of the Museum’s most exciting scientific discoveries of recent times.
15 January 2019
Join us as we celebrate 260 years since the Museum first opened its doors on 15 January 1759. From cats to conservation, we’ve compiled the biggest and best numbers from the last two and a half centuries.
23 May 2018
Conservator Kasia Weglowska takes a closer look at ancient colour recently discovered on the Parthenon sculptures, some of which feature in our current Rodin exhibition.
29 January 2018
Curator William Greenwood takes a fresh look at some of the scientific instruments that will feature in the new Albukhary Foundation Galleries of the Islamic world, opening in October 2018.
4 January 2018
Scientists Colin Blakemore and Tom McLeish examine how the cognitive impetus that drove the emergence of science might be considered to be the same impetus that fostered religion and other metaphysical beliefs.
20 November 2017
Scientist Aude Mongiatti explains her process of investigation and discovery comparing the craftsmanship of the Oxus treasure with the style and techniques of Scythian gold.
22 September 2017
Find out what a dental anthropologist does all day, and how tooth decay can lead to exciting new discoveries.
14 September 2017
Curator St John Simpson gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of some of the many steps that go into producing a major exhibition on a large scale.
1 September 2017
British Museum Scientist Joanne Dyer talks about the new scientific techniques that are casting ancient objects in a new light.
23 August 2017
Curator St John Simpson takes a closer look at Scythian burial mounds and how they reveal what these nomadic warriors believed about the afterlife.
10 April 2017
The statue of King Idrimi arrived at the British Museum in 1939. The inscription that stretches across the front of the statue is now recognised as one of the 20 most important cuneiform documents ever found. James Fraser, Project Curator, Middle East Department, discusses the importance of Idrimi’s story, and how new scanning techniques are allowing us unravel the inscription in more detail.
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.
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.