The main entrance to the British Museum is on Great Russell Street. There is an alternative entrance on Montague Place. 1. Admission The British Museum is free to all visitors. Some special exhibitions may have a charge. For details of concessions contact the Box Office on +44 (0)20 7323 8181. As a British Museum Friend you are entitled to free entry to all exhibitions, plus other benefits. 2. Opening times
j j j

Galleries Daily 10.00±17.30 Great Court Sunday ± Wednesday 09.00±18.00 Thursday, Friday, Saturday 09.00±23.00 Paul Hamlyn Library Saturday ± Wednesday 10.00±17.30 Thursday 10.00±20.30 Friday 12.00±20.30 The Museum is closed on 1 January, Good Friday, 24, 25, 26 December

.

understand one another through mutual engagement. It still is. It was also grounded in the Enlightenment idea that human cultures can. despite their differences. Over the past forty years. the increasing ease of international travel has meant not only that more visitors from abroad can come to London to use the collection.j j j j The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures. subsequently the UK and worldwide. Access to the collection is free. first in London. and be put to public use in new local contexts. spanning two million years of human history. the collection is one of the finest in existence. The Museum was to be a place where this kind of humane cross-cultural investigation could happen. but that the collection can more easily travel to them. The Museum has continually sought to make its collections available to greater and more diverse audiences. The Museum was based on the practical principle that the collection should be put to public use and be freely accessible. . Housed in one of Britain's architectural landmarks.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

with the worldfamous Reading Room at its centre. into the largest covered public square in Europe. . enclosed by a spectacular glass roof. transforms the Museum's inner courtyard.The Great Court j The two-acre square.

.

.

It has been known as a world famous centre of learning since the nineteenth century when it opened and was immediately hailed as one of the great sights of London. in the centre of the Great Court. the Reading Room has entered a new episode in its already illustrious history and is a temporary home for exhibitions. the library focussed on the world cultures represented in the Museum. Consisting of 25. The Reading Room will revert to its normal use in early 2009. .000 books. catalogues and other printed material.j j j j j The Reading Room stands at the heart of the Museum. From 13 September 2007 until 6 April 2008 it hosts The First Emperor: China·s Terracotta Army. However.

.

j The building of the Great Court also provided new permanent gallery spaces. .

Marble statue of a youth on horseback .

Pair of stone guardian figures .

.

.

Money. Great Court) j Changing exhibitions (5 rooms) . Living and Dying. Enlightenment.j j j j j j j j Africa (1 room) Americas (2 rooms) Ancient Egypt (7 rooms) Ancient Greece and Rome (27 rooms) Asia (7 rooms) Europe (10 rooms) Middle East (24 rooms) Themes (4 rooms.

A F R I C A Burnished pots Ndop. wooden carving of King Shyaam aMbul aNgoong Ivory mask Sphinx of Taharqo .

The Tree of Life .

ivory and wood Shaman's rattle in the form of an oystercatcher Pipe in the form of an otter .Feather bonnet of Yellow Calf North America Sled of bone.

Stone sculpture of Tlazolteotl Yaxchilán lintel 24 M E X I C O Mosaic mask of Quetzalcoatl Gold pendant depicting a ruler .

III List of the kings of Egypt from the Temple of Ramesses&nbsp.II Colossal bust of Ramesses II. the 'Younger Memnon' Inner coffin of Henutmehyt Mummy of a cat .Bronze figure of a seated cat Colossal granite head of Amenhotep&nbsp.

.

j Soldiers in Napoleon's army discovered the Rosetta Stone in 1799 while digging the foundations of an addition to a fort near the town of elRashid (Rosetta). the stone became the property of the English under the terms of the Treaty of Alexandria (1801) along with other antiquities that the French had found. On Napoleon's defeat. .

one of a series that affirm the royal cult of the 13year-old Ptolemy V on the first anniversary of his coronation. . and Greek (the language of the administration). j The decree is inscribed on the stone three times. in hieroglyphic (suitable for a priestly decree). demotic (the native script used for daily purposes).j The inscription on the Rosetta Stone is a decree passed by a council of priests.

.

.

.

.

Black-figured neck-amphora Black-figured amphora (wine-jar) .

Red-figured plate Black-figured bowl (dinos) and stand .

Marble portrait bust of Perikles Bronze head of Apollo the Chatsworth Head .

taken before restoration began .An old photograph of the Temple of Apollo Epicurius.

.

in the second century AD. He also wrote that the temple was designed by Iktinos. View from northwest The Temple of Apollo Epikourios ('Apollo the Helper') was built high on a rocky ridge of Mount Kotylion at Bassae in south-west Arcadia. as thanks for their deliverance from the plague of 429-427 BC. The Greek historian Pausanias wrote. a region of the Greek Peloponnese.Temple of Apollo Epikourios. . one of the architects of the Parthenon. that the name 'Helper' was given to Apollo by citizens of nearby Phigaleia.

Parthenon Athens Greece .

.

.

.The Parthenon was built as a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. It was the centrepiece of an ambitious building programme on the Acropolis of Athens. The temple¶s great size and lavish use of white marble was intended to show off the city¶s power and wealth at the height of its empire.

A portion of the Elgin Marbles. The Parthenon Frieze. .

.

Figure of Dionysos from the east pediment of the Parthenon .

Horsemen from the west frieze of the Parthenon .

.

.

.

.

.

.

Mausoleum at Halikarnassos .

j It stood approximately 45 meters in height. Turkey) for Mausolus ± a governor in the Persian Empire ± and Artemisia II of Caria. and each of the four sides was adorned with sculptural reliefs. The finished structure was considered to be such an aesthetic triumph that Antipater of Sidon identified it as one of his Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. j The word mausoleum has since come to be used generically for any grand tomb. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyrus and Pythius. Mausoleum of Maussollos or Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum. .j The Tomb of Maussollos. his wife and sister.

Fragments from the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos .

The first Roman Emperor Augustus British Museum Louvre .

The Townley Vase .

Marble statue of a Roman priestess .

Marble sarcopha gus with lid .

Marble bust of 'Clytie' .

Hinduism and Jainism. Cambodia. . The impact of Buddhism in central and east Asia is also explored in the Chinese section. Sri Lanka and Tibet.Sandstone figure of the Buddha Porcelain phoenix-headed ewer j The South Asia section uses objects to chart the major religious systems developed in India: Buddhism. It also examines the impact of these religious systems on Thailand. Chinese civilisation is traced chronologically from the Neolithic period to the twentieth century.

Porcelain phoenix-headed ewer Gold Ramatanka charm Coin-shaped charm .

Bronze figure of the Buddha Amitabha .

Bronze figure of the seated Buddha .

Gilded bronze figure of Tara .

Sermons of the Buddha .

Sermons of the Buddha detail 1 .

Sermons of the Buddha detail 2 .

Gilt bronze mandala opened .

Gilt bronze mandala closed .

. chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically. In the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism. mandala has become a generic term for any plan. they have been developed into sandpainting. "completion") is a term used to refer to various objects. j In practice. a microcosm of the Universe from the human perspective. It is of Hindu origin.j Mandala (Sanskrit "circle". but is also used in other Dharmic religions. such as Buddhism.

God saves the Earth from the Sea Sandstone stele with a figure of Vishnu .

Kings hunting boar in the forests of southern Rajasthan .

Krishna plays the flute before a devoted king .

The crow addresses the animals.Miskin (attributed to). a mounted miniature in gouache on paper .

Raja Hari Singh with waterpipe and attendants. gouache on paper .

Rama. defeats the tenheaded demon Ravana . the hero of the epic Ramayana.

Vishnu as Varaha saves the Earth in a painting from the Himalayan foothills.

j In China, jade has been a material of the highest value since ancient times. The

objects on display illustrate the history of the exotic stone, prized for its beauty and magical properties. Translucent yet tough, jade was worked into ornaments, ceremonial weapons and ritual objects by Chinese craftspeople.

Set of armour Jimbaori (armour surcoat) .

.

.

.

Colossal statue of a winged lion from the NorthWest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II Statue of Ashurnasirpal .

A charioteer and horse The siege and capture of the city of Lachish in 701 BC .

The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser .

Silver bull Gold figurine of a hittite god .

.

relating part of the Epic of Gilgamesh .The Flood Tablet.

An unique ancient map of the Mesopotamian world .

lying in the corner of a chamber above the right shoulder of a man. Its original function is not yet understood .A mysterious object with one of the earliest representations of a Sumerian army j This object was found in one of the largest graves in the Royal Cemetery at Ur.

.

The 'Ram in a Thicket' j The tube rising from the goat's shoulders suggests it was used to support something. most likely a bowl. .

two players competed to race their pieces from one end of the board to another. We also know that rosette spaces were lucky.html Wanna play? j According to references in ancient documents. Pieces were allowed on to the board at the beginning only with specific throws of the dice.co. .mesopotamia.http://www.uk/tombs/challenge/cha_set.

The 'Queen of the Night' Relief

original

reconstruction

An iron helmet covered with decorative panels of tinned bronze An iron helmet covered with decorative panels of tinned bronze .replica .

Gold coins and ingots from the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo .

The Strickland Brooch .

Applied brooch Silver disc brooch of Ædwen .

The only known censer of Anglo-Saxon origin .

Purse lid from the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo .

Typical clothes fastener of early medieval Ireland Irish religious relic found in London solicitor's office The Londesborough Brooch .

Icon of St John the Baptist .

Chess pieces .

The Enlightenment was an age of reason and learning that flourished across Europe and America from about 1680 to 1820 Enlightenment Room .

with each other. The displays in Room 24 explore different approaches to our shared challenges as human beings. focussing on how diverse cultures seek to maintain health and wellbeing. the animal kingdom. The displays consider different approaches to averting illness. . danger and trouble. and investigate people's reliance on relationships . spiritual powers spirits and the world around us.People throughout the world deal with the tough realities of life in many different ways.

Diablada dance mask The Diablada is a deep religious dance that originally comes from Oruro.aspx .britishmuseum.or g/explore/highlights/highlight _objects/aoa/d/diablada_danc e_mask. Bolivia. probably beginning in the 18th Century. when the Oruro miners decided to declare saint Virgin as Patron Saint of the workers and to dance disguised as devils precisely to avoid provoking the anger of the mine¶s "TIO" (Uncle). http://www.

while also exploring how our use of coins and paper money today continues to be transformed by the advent of plastic cards and computer banking. and empires. . ranging from shells in ancient China to massive stone discs on the Island of Yap in the western Pacific. nations.j Money (Room 68) The history of money can be traced back over four thousand years. Room 68 demonstrates the development of money across the world through a range of objects and examines how money has been used by diverse cultural groups. currency has taken many different forms. During this time. cultures. Exhibits illustrate the importance of money to past individuals.

Cash register in Money room .

Money before coins in early Rome Gold aureus of Octavian .

Gold coins and ingots from the ship-burial at Sutton Hoo .

an Anglo-Saxon ship containing the treasure of one of the earliest English Kings. Rædwald. In 1939 excavations brought to light the richest burial ever discovered in Britain. 500m north of the main mound cemetery. completed in 1992. others possibly the victims of judicial execution. excavations in advance of building work in 2000. uncovered the remains of another. earlier cemetery. some royal. . King of East Anglia.j Sutton Hoo is a group of low grassy burial mounds overlooking Woodbridge and the River Deben in SE Suffolk. Further excavations. England. Most recently. proved the site to be a complex collection of burials.

Rock crystal skull . Also analysis of inclusions in the quartz crystal indicates that the large block of material was obtained in the nineteenth century from a source far beyond ancient Mexican trade links. some of them have been attributed to the work of ancient Aztec. probably Brazil or Madagascar. These show that it was extensively worked using rotary cutting wheels. Scientists at the British Museum studied traces of tool marks preserved in the highly polished surfaces of this crystal skull. unknown in Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. for use in churches.Misterious objects on display at British Museum Large quartz crystal skulls have generated great interest and fascination. Others are said to be examples of colonial Mexican art. Mixtec or even Maya stone workers in Mexico. perhaps as bases for crucifixes.

but perhaps equivalent items were made of wood and have not survived. This grave offering is exceptional (the drums are unique) and must indicate something about the status of the child.The Folkton drums Mysterious grave goods Late Neolithic period. 2600-2000 BC These objects were found by Canon William Greenwell in 1889 when he opened a round barrow on Folkton Wold. The custom of burying individuals with 'special' grave goods had begun by about 3000 BC. using a technique very like that of chip-carving used by woodworkers. . They had been placed behind the head and hips of the body of a child in an oval grave close to the outer of two concentric ditches. No other objects like them survive. We do not know how they were used. The drums are made from local chalk and are elaborately carved.

30 j Open late Thursdays and Fridays Full opening times j The British Museum is free to all visitors A charge may be made for some special exhibitions .j The Museum is open every day 10.00±17.

org/ .britishmuseum.http://www.