Conservators at the British Museum preparing an ancient Egyptian coffin for display in the exhibition Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. © Trustees of the British Museum. Created by British Museum.
Preparing pieces of papyrus ready for display in the exhibition Journey through the afterlife: ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. © Trustees of the British Museum. Created by British Museum.
Used for the storage and shipment of grains, wine, and other goods, as well as in the all-male Greek drinking party, known as the symposium, ancient Greek vases were decorated with a variety of subjects ranging from scenes of everyday life to the tales of heroes and gods. The two most popular techniques of vase decoration were the black-figure technique, so-named because the figures were painted black, and the red-figure technique, in which the figures were left the red color of the clay. The black-figure technique developed around 700 B.C. and remained the most popular Greek pottery style until about 530 B.C., when the red-figure technique was developed, eventually surpassing it in popularity. This video illustrates the techniques used in the making and decorating of a black-figure amphora (storage jar) in the Art Institute of Chicago's collection. This video was produced with the generous support of a Long Range Fund grant provided by the Community Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago. It was created for LaunchPad, a program of digital interpretive materials that supplement the viewing of works of art on display in the Art Institute of Chicago's galleries. Created by Getty Museum.
The battle of Til Tuba reliefs are among some of the great masterpieces of ancient Assyrian art. The movement and details are truly stunning. That said, the scenes actually being depicted are anything but easy on the eye. Join curator Gareth Brereton as he walks you through the reliefs that once decorated the last great king of Assyria's royal palace. WARNING: includes scenes of drowning, flaying and wearing your deceased leader's head as a necklace. DOUBLE WARNING: includes scenes of extreme royal hat misplacement. The BP exhibition I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria 8 November 2018 – 24 February 2019
Trace the legacy of Babylonian discoveries and ideas, including their mathematical system based on 60 and their desire to predict the future. With British Museum curator Irving Finkel. © Trustees of the British Museum. Created by British Museum.
The Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most famous objects to have survived from the ancient world. It was inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform on the orders of Persian King Cyrus the Great (559-530 B.C.E.) after he captured Babylon in 539 B.C.E. It was found in Babylon in modern Iraq in 1879 during a British Museum excavation. Cyrus claims to have achieved this with the aid of Marduk, the god of Babylon. He then describes measures of relief he brought to the inhabitants of the city, and tells how he returned a number of images of gods, which Nabonidus had collected in Babylon, to their proper temples throughout Mesopotamia and western Iran. At the same time he arranged for the restoration of these temples, and organized the return to their homelands of a number of people who had been held in Babylonia by the Babylonian kings. Although the Jews are not mentioned in this document, their return to Palestine following their deportation by Nebuchadnezzar II, was part of this policy. The cylinder is often referred to as the first bill of human rights as it appears to encourage freedom of worship throughout the Persian Empire and to allow deported people to return to their homelands, but it in fact reflects a long tradition in Mesopotamia where, from as early as the third millennium B.C.E., kings began their reigns with declarations of reforms.
A new technique unveils ancient colour at the British Museum. © Trustees of the British Museum. Created by British Museum.
In 122 C.E. Hadrian ordered a mighty frontier system to be built across the north of Britain. The result was Hadrian's Wall, a 73 mile barrier stretching from the Solway Firth on the west coast of Britain to the River Tyne on the east coast. © Trustees of the British Museum. Created by British Museum.
Medieval goldsmiths were some of the most important craftsmen because they worked with precious metals. © Trustees of the British Museum. Created by British Museum.
Chariot-racing was the only Olympic sport in which women could take part, as owners of teams of horses. Kyniska, a princess of Sparta, was the first woman to win the Olympic crown in this sport. British Museum curator Judith Swaddling describes the amphora. © Trustees of the British Museum
Here is a brief introduction to some of the scientific terms and procedures used by scientists at the British Museum. You can find out more about scientific research and conservation at the British Museum here: goo.gl/9drJt2.
The greatest Olympic runner of all was Leonidas of Rhodes who won all three running events at each of the four successive Olympiads between 164 and 152 BC. Women competed in foot races at Olympia, but these were not part of the Olympic Games. © Trustees of the British Museum.
Every year, 25,000 British Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca. As part of the exhibition, Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam, the British Museum asked what this journey is like... ©Trustees of the British Museum.
Roman version of a Greek bronze original of about 440–430 BC, found at Vaison, France. Known as the Daidoumenos (ribbon wearer) this statue shows a triumphant athlete tying a ribbon round his head immediately after a victory. Winners in the ancient Olympics were allowed to set up statues of themselves at Olympia. If they won three times they could set up specially commissioned portrait statues which could cost up to ten times the average yearly wage. © Trustees of the British Museum
The long jump was the only type of jumping contest in the ancient Olympics. It differed vitally from our long jump in that athletes used pairs of weights or halteres, swung forward on take-off and back just before landing, probably as a handicap. © Trustees of the British Museum
An exploration of how veneration is still very much in evidence today -- and not always in expected places. Celebrity bodies, for instance, are revered in the global cultures of the 21st century, similar in many ways to the veneration of holy individuals in medieval Europe. Created by British Museum.
Ashurbanipal wasn't just an Assyrian king, he was a propaganda king. The layout, decorations and even the landscaping of his palaces were all made to point to one major fact - he was more powerful than you. WARNING: includes scenes of pet lions. DOUBLE WARNING: Pet lions are a bad idea. The BP exhibition I am Ashurbanipal: king of the world, king of Assyria 8 November 2018 – 24 February 2019