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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Aug 7, 2019

It’s August and in the heat of summer, Hugo and Sushma chat to Podcast producer Alfie Meek about what it’s like being a trainee at the Museum, as well as talking to Naomi Salinas Burton who organises the Museum Futures programme – the HLF-funded initiative that brought Alfie to Bloomsbury. 

Francesca Hillier digs into the archives to tell us about the Museum’s most-visited exhibition of all time – our 1972 show on Tutankhamun that attracted over 1.6 million visitors.

In Object of the month, Eleanor Hyun explains why a family heirloom is so special and gives a bonus mention for two friendly little objects that you can see in the Korea Foundation Gallery.

Jul 3, 2019

In this month’s episode, Hugo and Sushma talk to Michael Lewis about the Portable Antiquities Scheme, metal detecting and finds of treasure in the UK. We examine how artists have subverted the humble postcard as Hugo chats with Jenny Ramkalawon in our free exhibition.

To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the release of ‘Blackmail’, Alfred Hitchcock’s first non-silent movie, Francesca Hillier raids the archives to find out more about how this film was shot in the Museum.

Professor, author and broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili talks about July’s Object of the month – an astrolabe from our Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic World.




Jun 5, 2019


June marks the 80th anniversary or the discovery and excavation of the Anglo-Saxon ship burial at Sutton Hoo, one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th this episode Hugo and Sushma discuss all things Sutton Hoo with Sue Brunning, including a look at some of the less blingy objects in the burial. Sushma also takes a tour of our free exhibition ' reimagining Captain Cook: Pacific perspectives' (open until 4th August) with the show's curator Julie Adams.

Henry Flynn talks about the Object of the month – a Dr Who banknote – and Francesca digs deep into the archives to find more stories from Sutton Hoo.

May 1, 2019

In this month’s episode, scientist Kate Fulcher discusses her research into ancient Egyptian coffin residue – otherwise known as ‘black goo’ – and Leonora Baird-Smith talks poison, gold, and marzipan as she delves into the complex world of collections care.

Francesca Hillier produces some unexpected finds from the archives relating to Montague House (the original building that housed the British Museum collection) and, for Object of the month, Jamie Fraser explains why sometimes it’s really useful to NOT do the washing up.

Apr 3, 2019

This month presenters Hugo and Sushma chat with Ceri Ashley who is coordinating the brand new endangered material knowledge project, a project dedicated to preserving the more intangible aspects of human culture and with Nick Kendall one of the longest serving members of staff at the Museum who knows the buildings of the Museum inside out.

Francesca Hillier introduces the archives and tells us about a strange new find that has been presented to the archives.

Object of the Month is the Aylesford bucket presented by Julia Farley, curator of British and European Iron age collections

Apr 2, 2019

A brand-new podcast from the British Museum, the Museum podcast is a magazine-style show coming out on the first Wednesday of every month and featuring interviews with people from across the museum. Hear stories about new projects, exhibitions, conservation and much much more. Every month will feature a story from the Museum archives as well as highlighting one of the more disregarded objects from across the galleries.

The first episode is available on the 3rd of April.

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: