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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: Category: History
Mar 4, 2020

In honour of Women’s History month Hugo and Sushma are exploring how women have interacted with the museum since its opening in 1759. In the archives, Sian and Francesca discuss some of the earliest female researchers and scholars, as well as a libel case relating to the much-slandered pioneering feminist Victoria Woodhull who ran for the American Presidency in 1872. Hugo chats with Alexandra (otherwise known as Sally) Fletcher about her archaeological career and its connection with pioneering archaeologist Kathleen Kenyon.

Feb 5, 2020

This month Hugo and Sushma meet Stuart Frost – the Museum’s Head of Interpretation and Volunteers – to discuss how we create narratives around the collection and how volunteers are vital in supporting the work of the Museum. In the archives, Sian and Francesca look at the history of clubs and societies for Museum staff. For object of the month, Jill Cook – Deputy Keeper of Prehistory and Europe – talks about a stone tool from the original collection of the Museum’s founder Sir Hans Sloane.

Jan 22, 2020

Alexandra Villing, curator of the BP exhibition Troy: myth and reality talks with classicist Natalie Haynes about the wives, mothers, seers, queens, and goddesses at the heart of the Trojan myth.

The BP exhibition Troy: myth and reality is open until 8 March. To book your tickets visit: https://bit.ly/2Rj2Ula

 

 

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.

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.  

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 century.in 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.

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’…

 

Music:

 

'Tech Toys' – Lee Rosevere: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere

'Under suspicion' – Lee Rosevere: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere

© Lee Rosevere 2016 

 

'The sun is scheduled to come out tomorrow' – Chris Zabriskie: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/chris_zabriskie

© Chris Zabriskie 2016

 

All tracks used and adapted under Attribution License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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.’

 

Music:

'Flashing Swords' – Cats on the Beach: http://www.catsonthebeach.net/

© Cats on the Beach 2015

 

'Tech Toys' – Lee Rosevere: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere

© Lee Rosevere 2015

 

Used and adapted under Attribution License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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