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A museum of the world, for the world. Discover over two million years of human history and culture.

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‘The passion and pain that created the modern artwork Throne of Weapons by Kester Canhavato always reminds me in the most visceral way of the struggle of Black people to create, from an often dark and painful history, objects of beauty that celebrate our survival and the wisdom we’ve gathered.’ – British Museum Trustee and playwright Patricia Cumper.
Made in 2001, the Throne of Weapons is constructed out of decommissioned arms from the civil war in Mozambique. Hear more from Patricia Cumper in her blog post about what Black History Month means to her – link in our bio. #KesterCanhavato #Cristóvão #BlackHistoryMonth #BHM #Mozambique #BritishMuseum
This 2-metre-tall marble statue depicts the Roman emperor Septimius Severus. He was born in AD 145 in Leptis Magna, modern-day Libya – the first Roman emperor born in Africa. Severus died in Eboracum (now the city of York in northern England), and was soon deified, fondly remembered as a successful consolidator of Roman power. British Museum Trustee Patricia Cumper has chosen Septimius Severus as an example of the closely intertwined histories of Europe and Africa. Find out more about how the Museum’s collection can help tell these stories in Patricia’s #BlackHistoryMonth blog post – link in bio.
#SeptimiusSeverus #RomanEmperor #RomanEmpire #BHM #BritishMuseum
These beautiful strap-fittings probably adorned an Iron Age horse harness or chariot. In the Iron Age, people who lived in ancient Greece and Rome were starting to make naturalistic sculptures of people and animals. But in Europe north of the Alps, people had a different way of looking at their world. Weapons, jewellery and chariot fittings were decorated with swirling, abstract art full of hidden faces and beasts – today we call this Celtic art. This style was shared widely across Europe, showing how well connected these craftspeople were.

Discover what life was like over 2,000 years ago and explore objects from Iron Age Britain in a special #FacebookLive with Curator Julia Farley this afternoon at 15.00 BST.
#IronAge #history #Celts #CelticArt #design
These objects were discovered off the coast of Devon in 2010 – part of the cargo from an incredibly rare Bronze Age ship which sank about 3,000 years ago. Including copper and tin ingots, gold bracelets and bronze tools and weapons, these objects reveal a sophisticated level of trading across Europe during the first age of metal.

Take a trip through the Bronze Age with Curator Neil Wilkin in our #FacebookLive at 15.00 BST today! Follow the link in our bio to take part.
#BronzeAge #bronze #history #shipwreck #ancienthistory #BritishMuseum #archaeology
The Palaeolithic – literally ‘Old Stone Age’ – is the longest period of human development and adaptation, with the first stone tools made 3.3 million years ago in Kenya. This flint handaxe is around 500,000 years old and was discovered in Boxgrove, Sussex.

Join us this afternoon at 15.00 BST for a #FacebookLive exploring the deep history of the various human species. Curator Beccy Scott will be looking at tools that at least four different human species used over the course of 2 million years. Follow us on Facebook to take part – link in our bio.
The wheel of life is depicted in this 19th-century Tibetan Buddhist thangka. A thangka is used for teaching or as a devotional object and this one shows the world in the arms of the demon Mara, who is indicative of temptation, death and impermanence. The three segments at the top of the wheel show the higher realms of existence, and the bottom three show the sufferings of animals, ghosts and hell. See this colourful painted textile in our new #LivingWithTheGods exhibition, exploring beliefs from around the world and through time – find out more via the link in our bio. 
Exhibition supported by the Genesis Foundation. With grateful thanks to John Studzinski CBE. 
#Buddhist #Buddhism #thangka #painting #textile #BritishMuseum #exhibition #London
There is no known culture in the world or in history without religious beliefs. What sustains this worldwide phenomenon? 
We’re excited to announce a new partnership with @bbcradio4 and @penguinukbooks. An exhibition, radio series and book will look at the nature of belief and how it has been important to all human societies. Through everyday objects of faith from around the world and through time, each will reflect on how people believe, rather than what they believe.

The objects touch on key themes of belief, from the power of prayer and the importance of festivals and pilgrimage to the marking of key life experiences – birth, coming of age, marriage and death.

Our #LivingWithTheGods exhibition opens 2 November. Book your tickets by following the link in our bio.

The BBC radio series will begin on 23 October, presented by former British Museum Director Neil MacGregor.

Exhibition supported by the Genesis Foundation. With grateful thanks to John Studzinski CBE.
This ‘Lion Man’ sculpture is 40,000 years old, with the head of a cave lion and a partly human body. He is the oldest known representation of a being that does not exist in nature but symbolises ideas about the supernatural. Found in a cave in what is now southern Germany, the sculpture was carved from mammoth ivory – a process thought to have taken around 400 hours using Ice Age tools. It is the earliest evidence we have of beliefs and practices, and shows humans’ unique ability to communicate what’s in our minds through objects. 
Our new #LivingWithTheGods exhibition begins with the Lion Man and provides a perspective on what makes believing a vital part of human behaviour – find out more via the link in our bio. 
Exhibition supported by the Genesis Foundation. With grateful thanks to John Studzinski CBE. 
#LionMan #IceAge #IceAgeArt #exhibition #BritishMuseum #London #sculpture #lion
Elephants wouldn’t have been seen in Japan when this colourful porcelain elephant was made in the late 17th century. It was likely commissioned by merchants of the Dutch East India Company for export – animal porcelain figures were popular in Europe at this time. This elephant is an example of the Kakiemon style developed near Arita in southern Japan. Porcelain was decorated with coloured enamels, and the style is named after the red-orange colour used in its decoration – ‘kaki’ is Japanese for persimmon, a fruit with a similar colour. #WorldAnimalDay #BritishMuseum #elephant #Kakiemon #porcelain #enamel #colour #Japan #Japanese #🐘
25 of these small lions once stood on the original 1852 railings in front of the Museum. Each is around 35cm tall, and they were made from cast iron in York. Their powerful pose was inspired by a lion sculpture in the 13th-century Palazzo del Bargello in Florence. The railings were dismantled in 1895 and the lions were scattered around the country, including at the Wellington Memorial near @StPaulsCathedralLondon, and in the @Natural_History_Museum. #WorldAnimalDay #BritishMuseum #lion #lions #London #StPauls #NHM #iron #castiron #Victorian #sculpture #🦁
This life-size sculpture of a terrapin was carved around 1600 in India 🐢. It weighs 41kg and is made from nephrite – a type of jade. The material is harder than iron and cannot be carved using metal tools – examining this object with electron microscopes has revealed that it was carved with diamond-pointed tools and diamond abrasives. It would have taken around a year to create this fine sculpture, and the quality of the jade suggests the terrapin was a highly prestigious commission. #WorldAnimalDay #BritishMuseum #jade #terrapin #sculpture #India #Indian #diamond #🐢
This etching is regarded as one of Rembrandt’s finest printed works. It depicts Christ healing the sick and the artist has applied varied techniques to showcase his mastery of the medium. Made in 1648, it was known as the ‘hundred guilder print’ because it sold for such an amazing price – a ‘guilder’ was a Dutch gold coin. Rembrandt is known to have sold his prints directly to collectors, and this impression is printed on imported Japanese paper to increase its appeal and maximise its price. 
See this brilliant work and follow the story of prints and printmaking from 1400–1850 in our new free exhibition – link in bio. #Rembrandt #etching #print #printmaking #prints #art #museum #BritishMuseum #exhibition