Discovering a 4,500-year-old olive oil factory in Jordan
26 November 2020

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.

Depicting the dead: ancient Egyptian mummy portraits
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.

Ancient Egyptian coffins and mystery of ‘black goo’
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.

The Great Wave: spot the difference
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.

100 years of science and conservation: recent conservation highlights
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.

What lurks under the microscope? Dust detective work
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.

100 years of science and conservation
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.

Art in crisis: identifying and returning looted objects
5 November 2019

Curator St John Simpson explains how the Museum is helping to fight the contemporary trade of looted antiquities across the globe.

Reimagining a Tahitian mourning costume
31 May 2019

In 2018, conservators, curators and scientists had the challenge of preparing an imposing Tahitian mourning costume for display and long-term preservation. Head of Organic Conservation Monique Pullan talks you through the lengthy process

Paint and the Parthenon: conservation of ancient Greek sculpture
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.

The British Museum Membercast: A year in the life of scientific research at the Museum
25 April 2018

This month Iszi presents the Members’ exclusive lecture from Carl Heron, Director of Scientific Research, looking at spectacular new research findings, the development of new laboratory facilities, and the many activities of the department.

Ancient wisdom: what tooth decay can tell us about the past
22 September 2017

Find out what a dental anthropologist does all day, and how tooth decay can lead to exciting new discoveries.

Ladies aglow: finding the colour in 2,000-year-old figurines
1 September 2017

British Museum Scientist Joanne Dyer talks about the new scientific techniques that are casting ancient objects in a new light.