When the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal took the throne in 669 BC, his empire was at its height. As well as defeating enemies in violent confl ict and hunting lions, Ashurbanipal saw himself as a scholar and amassed a vast royal library. A major exhibition at the British Museum takes a close look at this self-described ‘king of the world’ and the Assyrians in Iraq, Syria, and beyond. Lucia Marchini went along to find out more.
I hope you had a wonderful festive period – but even as we look forward to what 2019 might bring, the past still has plenty to reveal. This month’s cover feature takes us deep into the Neolithic, where we consider evidence for whether sites that were monumentalised during this period were also considered ‘special’ during […]
On 26 October 1918, the nation received an unusual gift: Stonehenge. The monument had been bought at auction by Sir Cecil Chubb, who later presented it to the British government. Marking the centenary of this episode, we are exploring one of the newest discoveries from the site: the origins of some of the people whose […]
In the recent hot weather, the trees that line many of our urban streets offer welcome shade – but when these leafy avenues were first introduced to Britain they were highly controversial. We trace the progress and pitfalls of this movement from its 19th-century roots to the present day. Greenery was also a key feature […]
The Reverend William Greenwell (1820-1918) was a British antiquarian who, throughout a long career of excavating prehistoric barrows, accumulated a large collection of artefacts. This included almost 570 copper-alloy axes from across Europe. Unfortunately, due to practices (or the lack of them) at the time, many of these objects – now curated at the British Museum – have no known provenance or any other contextual information. This had meant that, for the most part, they remained in museum storage, deemed useless for research. A new study, however, has once again brought the axes in this collection to light, by macro- and microscopically analysing them for wear patterns and other signs of use.
Who were the Scythians? They left behind no written records, but archaeology lets us get up close and personal with these nomadic warriors. Lucia Marchini finds out more at the British Museum’s latest exhibition. From the end of the 17th century, the glittering possessions of nomadic warriors began to be discovered in the Urals and […]
The year is on the turn. As summer slips undeniably into autumn, it is a time of new beginnings, not only thanks to the changing seasons but also to our associating these months with the start of the new school or university year. There have been changes afoot at CA too; as we drift towards […]
Rebecca Haslam and Victoria Ridgeway The British Museum Press, £40.00 ISBN 978-0861592036 Review LM The British Museum is home to archaeological riches from all over the world, but what can its own archaeology tell us about Bloomsbury through the ages? Investigations carried out by Pre-Construct Archaeology in the 1990s and 2000s in advance of the […]
As well as marking 50 years since the launch of CA, this year sees the golden anniversary of musical masterpieces and a landmark law. Lucia Marchini explores the heritage attractions that offer a taste of 1967. In 1967, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district drew in crowds of gentle people with flowers in their hair for a […]
The latest exhibition at the British Museum offers an overview of South African art from manuports to Mandela and beyond. Lucia Marchini finds out more. Between 1948 and 1994, when the ruling National Party was enforcing apartheid legislation, the official version of South African history portrayed the country as a terra nullius before European settlement […]