The British Museum Podcast

The British Museum is famous for its objects, which represent over 2 million years of human history and culture. The objects speak to us thanks to the experts who have helped to tell their stories for well over two centuries. This podcast takes a fresh look at some of the tales that have shaped the Museum’s story – both famous and less well known.
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The British Museum Podcast



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Apr 6, 2017

At some point during the 1960s, there may have been as many as 100 cats living on the British Museum site. According to some newspapers they were bred to be super intelligent, according to some staff their breeding was out of control. This is the story of how the British Museum became a cat haven, and how they eventually came to be on the Museum payroll, thanks in large part to a British Museum cleaner affectionately referred to as the 'Cat Man’.




‘Can’t Hug Every Cat’ - © The Gregory Brothers


‘Say Goodbye’ - © Adrianna Krikl


‘Marty Gots a Plan’, ‘Carpe Diem’, and ‘Simplex 48000 © Kevin MacLeod 


‘Close my mouth’ - © Silent Partner


‘Tech Toys' –  © Lee Rosevere


All tracks used and adapted under Attribution License:

Dec 13, 2016
The ideal scenario for any archaeologist? Finding something different. Something unexpected. Something that had never been found by anyone before.
But what if you made this discovery in the middle of the Jordan Valley, on the last day of excavations, with most of your equipment already packed up and only a handful of staff still on site?
This is exactly what happened to the archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon at Jericho in April 1953. One of her team, Peter Parr, had finished the final recording for the work done that year and pointed out that a stone protruding from the side of his trench was a skull. Concerned that it might be damaged through being left exposed, he and Kenyon decided to excavate. What they found continues to fascinate archaeologists – and the wider public – today.
Sep 1, 2016

When war broke out in 1939 many of the British Museum’s most valued objects had already been evacuated to safe locations across the UK. However, as war developed, it became apparent not all of these depositories were as safe as originally thought – and the dangers weren’t always caused by enemy forces. Meanwhile, back in London, the Director presented the ‘Suicide Exhibition’…




'Tech Toys' – Lee Rosevere:

'Under suspicion' – Lee Rosevere:

© Lee Rosevere 2016 


'The sun is scheduled to come out tomorrow' – Chris Zabriskie:

© Chris Zabriskie 2016


All tracks used and adapted under Attribution License:

Aug 24, 2016

It wasn’t only people that were evacuated from London during the Second World War. Antiquities and works of art were moved outside of the capital in their thousands. Relocated to stately houses, abandoned tube stations and purpose-built, climate-controlled bunkers – this is the story of how the British Museum pulled off ‘the biggest, mass evacuation of objects in any museum’s history.’



'Flashing Swords' – Cats on the Beach:

© Cats on the Beach 2015


'Tech Toys' – Lee Rosevere:

© Lee Rosevere 2015


Used and adapted under Attribution License: