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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Now displaying: 2019
Dec 18, 2019

From us to you, a very British Museum Christmas gift: we invited twelve colleagues across the Museum to tell us about their favourite objects and gathered their responses into a special Christmas compendium. Hear all about the objects that they find inspiring, and the stories behind them.

 Sushma Jansari – the Mathura lion capital (Room 33)

Elizabeth Morrison –the Folkton Drums (Room 51)

Sian Toogood –  Greek slingshot (Room 69)

Ros Winton – Ancient Egyptian model (Room 65)

Tess Sanders – the Assyrian Lion hunt reliefs (Room 10)

Lee Roberts – Painted Japanese screen (tigers crossing a river) (Room 92)

Nick Harris – Japanese hand grenade casings in (Room 94)

Francesca Hillier – Palmerston gold cups (Room 47)

Alfie Meek – the Alfie lions (Room 47)

Russ McKeown –  Portrait of late director Lord Wolfenden (not on display)

Richard Wakeman – the Vindolanda tablets (Room 50)

Hugo Chapman – Samuel Palmer watercolour (Prints and Drawings Study Room)

Dec 4, 2019

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, so Sushma and Sian (filling in for Hugo) are serving array of festive delights from the Museum. Sushma talks to Tim Clarke, Head of the Japanese Section as he looks back at almost four decades of work at the British Museum, while Sian and Francesca head back to the archives to check out Christmas cards from the 30s.

Nov 6, 2019

Laura Osorio Sunnucks, head of the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research, joins Hugo and Sushma to talk about Amazonian objects. In the Money gallery, Tom Hockenhull introduces a communist poster from 1990, and Francesca and Sian are back in the archives to explore Museum blueprints.

Oct 2, 2019

This month Hugo and Sushma are talking to Belinda Crerar about how the Museum uses changing displays in Room 3 to respond to what is happening in the world today. We also raid the archives to chart the history of children’s visits to the Museum, and as Object of the month Venetia Porter talks about the Salcombe Hoard – an impressive discovery of gold and weapons from the Bronze Age.  

Sep 9, 2019

Hugo and Sushma leave the cosy confines of the office and head into the basements to meet with Dan O’Flynn and his X-ray machine. Francesca Hillier scours the Trustees’ minutes to talk ‘modesty boards’ and the Museum’s first female curator. Object of the month is an exclusive piece of audio from ‘Decoded’ – an upcoming video series on our YouTube channel.

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 National Lottery Heritage Fund 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.