A History of the World in 100 Objects
  • A History of the World in 100 Objects

  • In 2010, the BBC and the British Museum embarked on an ambitious project: to tell the story of two million years of human history using one hundred objects selected from the Museum's vast and renowned collection.

    Presented by the British Museum's then Director Neil MacGregor, each episode focuses on a single object - from a Stone Age tool to a solar-powered lamp - and explains its significance in human history. A stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people; Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency; and an early Victorian tea-set speaks to us about the impact of empire. Music, interviews with specialists and quotations from written texts enrich the listener's experience.

    Objects from a similar period of history are grouped together to explore a common theme and make connections across the world. Seen in this way, history is a kaleidoscope: shifting, interlinked, constantly surprising and shaping our world in ways that most of us have never imagined. This download also includes an illustrated booklet with additional background information and photographs.

Neil MacGregor was Director of the National Gallery, London from 1987 to 2002 and of the British Museum from 2002 to 2015, and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin from 2015 to 2018. His previous books include A History of the World in 100 Objects, Shakespeare's Restless World and Germany: Memories of a Nation, all available in Penguin and now between them translated into more than a dozen languages. In 2010, he was made a member of the Order of Merit, the UK's highest civil honour. In 2015 he was awarded the Goethe Medal and the German National Prize. In 2018 the radio series Living with the Gods received the Sandford Saint Martin Award for Religious Broadcasting.


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