British Museum

Great Russell Street , London WC1B 3DG , England
in London England

A museum of the world, for the world. Discover over two million years of human history and culture.

The British Museum is a museum dedicated to human history and culture, located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from ... See more

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Best Features

Rosetta Stone
58 users liked this feature

Room 4 - The Rosetta Stone, key to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs, 196 BC

hu
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Room 33 - Hu-shaped altar flower vessel, Ming dynasty, China, 15th -16th Centuries AD

Mummies
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Room 63 - Mummies on display in the Egyptian Death and Afterlife Galleries

Elgin Marbles
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A few of the Elgin Marbles (also known as the Parthenon Marbles) from the East Pediment of the Parthenon.

Cat
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Room 4 - Ancient Egyptian bronze statue of a cat from the Late Period, about 664–332 BC

Parthenon
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Room 18 - Parthenon marbles from the Acropolis of Athens, 447 BC

Great Court
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The Great Court opened in 2000 – the largest covered square in Europe. The Great Court roof has 3,312 glass panels. Each one is unique as the space is asymmetrical #architectureMW http://ow.ly/KMk5h

Location
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During the last Ice Age, the location of this museum would have been covered with glaciers. Where is Monty today on his #mammothadventure?

Ancient Greece
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Reading Room
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Many famous authors have studied in the Reading Room: Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker!

Sutton Hoo
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Room 41 - Sutton Hoo helmet, Anglo-Saxon, England, early 7th Century AD

Enlightenment Gallery
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The Enlightenment Gallery (Room 1) opened #onthisday in 2003. The displays provide an introduction to the Museum and its collections, showing how our understanding of the world of nature and human achievement has changed over time. Find out more about it here http://ow.ly/FMLx6

Pompeii
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Room 69 - Roman gladiator helmet from Pompeii, Italy, 1st Century AD

Astrolabe
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Room 40 - Chaucer Astrolabe, the oldest dated in Europe, 1326 AD

Buddha
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Room 33 - Statue of Buddha from Burma, 18th-19th Century AD

Epic of Gilgamesh
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Room 55 - Cuneiform Collection, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, Iraq, c. 669-631 BC

Inca
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Room 2 - Miniature gold llama figurine, Inca, Peru, about 1500 AD

Mechanical Galleon
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Room 38 - Mechanical Galleon clock, Augsburg, Germany, around 1585 AD

Nereid Monument
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Room 17 - Reconstruction of the Nereid Monument, c. 390 BC

Nimrud
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Room 89 - Nimrud & Nineveh Palace Reliefs

Persepolis
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Room 5 - The Persepolis Casts

prints and drawings
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The British Museum holds the national collection of Western prints and drawings, with over 50,000 prints and 2 million drawings! You can ask to see any of the Museum's works on paper in our beautiful Study Room – it's free http://ow.ly/rr2MI

Temple of Artemis
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Room 22 - Column from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Turkey, early 4th Century BC

Wellcome Trust
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Room 24 - The Wellcome Trust Gallery of Living and Dying, with Easter Island statue in the centre

Admonitions Scroll

Room 91a - Section of the Admonitions Scroll by Chinese artist Gu Kaizhi, China, c. 380 AD

Aegina Treasure

Room 12 - A gold earring from the Aegina Treasure, Greece, 1700-1500 BC

Aethelred II

Aethelred II gold mancu, England, 1003-1006 AD

African pots

Room 25 - African pots on display in the gallery

Ahin Posh

Coin of Trajan from Ahin Posh Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan, 2nd Century AD

Ain Sakhri lovers

Room 2 - Ain Sakhri lovers, from the cave of Ain Sakhri, near Bethlehem, c. 9000 BC

Albrecht Dürer

Albrecht Dürer - Drawing of a walrus, 1521

Amaravati Sculptures

Room 33a - Amaravati Sculptures, southern India, 1st century BC and 3rd Century AD

Amenhotep III

Room 4 - Colossal statue of Amenhotep III, c.1370 BC

Amitābha

The Amitābha Buddha from Hancui on display in the museum's stairwell, China, 6th Century AD

Ankhnesneferibre

Room 4 - Sarcophagus of Ankhnesneferibre, 26th dynasty, about 530 BC

Apollo of Cyrene

Room 22 – Apollo of Cyrene (holding a lyre), Libya, c. 2nd Century AD

Ashurnasirpal II

Room 7 - Reliefs from the North-west palace of Ashurnasirpal II, Nimrud

Assyrian Sculpture

The British Museum, Room 6 – Assyrian Sculpture

Bactria

Gold coin from Bactria, Afghanistan, 4th Century AD

Benin brass plaques

Room 25 - Part of the famous collection of Benin brass plaques, Nigeria, 1500-1600 AD

Bodhisattva

Room 33 - Statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, gilded bronze. Nepal, 16th Century AD

BP Lecture Theatre

The BP Lecture Theatre at the museum, part of the Clore Centre for Education, 2013

Calcite-alabaster statue

Room 53 - Calcite-alabaster statue of a standing female figure, Yemen, 1st-2nd Centuries AD

Caryatid

Room 19 - Caryatid and Corinthian column from the Erechtheion, Acropolis of Athens, Greece, 420-415 BC

Chalki

Room 22 - Bronze repoussé relief from a hydria, from Chalki, near Rhodes, Greece, c. 325–300 BC

China section

Room 33 - China section of the gallery

Claude Lorrain

Claude Lorrain - Drawing of mules, including one full-length, 1630-1640

Claudius

Room 49 - Bronze head of a Roman Emperor Claudius, from Rendham in Suffolk, eastern England, 1st Century AD

Clocks and watches

Room 39 - Clocks and watches exhibition space

Coleraine

Room 41 - Silver objects from the Roman Coleraine Hoard, Northern Ireland, 4th-5th Centuries AD

Commius

50 gold staters of Commius, Tincomarus and Eppillus, Alton, southern England, 1st Century BC - 1st Century AD

Copán

Room 1 - Maya maize god statue from Copán, Honduras, 600-800 AD

Corbridge Lanx

Room 49 - Corbridge Lanx, silver tray depicting a shrine to Apollo, northern England, 4th Century AD

Croesus

Gold coin of Croesus, Lydian, modern Turkey, c. 550 BC

Crouching Venus

Room 23 - The famous version of the 'Crouching Venus', Roman, c. 1st Century AD

Cyrus Cylinder

King of Persia Cyrus the Great entered Babylon #onthisday in 539 BC. This iconic clay cylinder, known as the Cyrus Cylinder, is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform with an account by Cyrus of his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC and the capture of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king. The cylinder has sometimes been described as the 'first charter of human rights', as it describes measures of relief Cyrus brought to the inhabitants of the city after its capture. However it in fact reflects a long tradition in Mesopotamia where, from as early as the third millennium BC, kings began their reigns with declarations of reforms. http://ow.ly/DcZ6m

death of Buddha

Room 33 - Stone sculpture of the death of Buddha, Gandhara, Pakistan, 1st-3rd Centuries AD

Desiderius Erasmus

Renaissance medal of Desiderius Erasmus, by Quentin Massijs, Holland, 16th Century AD

Discobolus

Myron’s discobolus (disc-thrower) is the perfect balance of opposites

Discobolus of Myron

Main Staircase, Discobolus of Myron (the Discus-Thrower)

Double-headed serpent

Room 27 - Double-headed serpent turquoise mosaic, Aztec, Mexico, 1400-1500 AD

Edo period

Room 90 - Courtesans of the Tamaya House, attributed to Utagawa Toyoharu, screen painting; Japan, Edo period, late 1770s or early 1780s AD

Egyptian grave

Room 64 - Egyptian grave containing the naturally-preserved body, late predynastic, 3400 BC

El-Amarna

Room 68 - Part of the el-Amarna hoard, Egypt, c. 1850-1800 BC (18th dynasty)

Enkomi

Room 72 - Necklace with gold beads in the shape of double figure-of-eight shields, spiral gold beads and cornelian beads, from Enkomi Cyprus, c. 1400-1200 BC

Fishpool Hoard

Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, was born #onthisday in 1396. This is one of many coins from his reign that were discovered as part of the Fishpool hoard in 1966, the biggest find of gold coins ever made in Britain. http://ow.ly/zMKwo

Gabon

Room 25 - Mask (wood and pigment); Punu people, Gabon, 19th Century AD

Gold bracelet

Room 70 - Gold bracelet set with pearls emeralds and sapphires, from Tunis, Tunisia, 3rd Century AD

Gold oak wreath

Room 22 - Gold oak wreath with a bee and two cicadas, western Turkey, c. 350-300 BC

Hamsa

Room 33 - A Hamsa sacred goose vessel made of crystal from Stupa 32, Taxila, Pakistan, 1st Century AD

Handaxe

Room 2 - mHandaxe, Lower Palaeolithic, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, c. 1.2 million years BC

Hans Holbe

Hans Holbein the Younger - Portrait of Anne Boleyn, 1536

Head of Asclepius

Room 22 - Colossal head of Asclepius wearing a metal crown (now lost), from a cult statue on Melos, Greece, 325-300 BC

Henutmehyt

The fine quality of Henutmehyt's funerary equipment shows that she was an individual of considerable wealth. http://ow.ly/isjG0

Hermes

Room 1 - Farnese Hermes in the Enlightenment Gallery, Italy, 1st Century AD

Hieronymus Bosch

Hieronymus Bosch - A comical barber scene, c. 1477-1516

Hinton St Mary Mosaic

Room 49 - Hinton St Mary Mosaic with face of Christ in the centre, from Dorset, southern England, 4th Century AD

Hoa Hakananai

Room 24 – Easter Island statue Hoa Hakananai'a Wellcome Trust Gallery, 1000 AD

Holy Thorn Reliquary

Room 45 - Holy Thorn Reliquary, made in Paris, c. 1390s AD

Honorius

Gold coin of Emperor Honorius from Hoxne Hoard, England, 4th-5th Centuries AD

Hotung Gallery

Room 33 – South Asia section of the Joseph E. Hotung Gallery

Huaxtec

Room 27 - Huaxtec art on display in the Mexico Gallery

Human Headed Winged Bulls

Room 10 - Human Headed Winged Bulls from Khorsabad, companion pieces in the Musée du Louvre , Iraq, 710-705 BC

Human Headed Winged Lions

Room 6 - Pair of Human Headed Winged Lions and reliefs from Nimrud with the Balawat Gates, c. 860 BC

Hunefer

Book of the Dead of Hunefer, sheet 5, 19th Dynasty, 1250 BC

Hunters Palette

Room 64 - Fragmentary ceremonial palette known as the Hunters Palette, from the late predynastic period, Naqada III, c. 3250-3100 BC

Ionic

Detail of an Ionic capital on a pilaster in the Great Court

Isaac Cruikshank

Isaac Cruikshank - 'The happy effects of that grand system of shutting ports against the English!!', 1808

Isaac Habrecht

Room 38 - Carillon clock with automata by Isaac Habrecht, Switzerland, 1589 AD

Ivory hand

Room 57 - Ivory hand from the Fosse Temple at Lachish (modern Tell ed-Duweir), Canaanite, Israel, about 1400-1200 BC

Ivory mask

Room 25 - Ivory mask of Queen Idia, Nigeria, 16th Century AD

James McNeill Whistler

James McNeill Whistler - View of the Battersea side of Chelsea Reach, London, (lithograph), 1878

Jehu

Room 6 - Depiction of the hypocrite, Jehu, King of Israel on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, Nimrud, c. 827 BC

JMW Turner

JMW Turner - Watercolour of Newport Castle, 1796

John Constable

John Constable - London from Hampstead Heath in a Storm, (watercolour), 1831

Kang Hou Gui

Room 33 - Western Zhou bronze ritual vessel known as the "Kang Hou Gui", China, 11th Century BC

kente cloth

Room 25 - Modern interpretation of kente cloth from Ghana, late 20th Century AD

Knife money

Knife money made from bronze, China, 4th-3rd Centuries BC

Kumaragupta I

Gold coin of Kumaragupta I, Gupta Empire, India, 415–455 AD

Ladakh

Room 33 - Figure of seated Lama; of painted and varnished papier-mâché, Ladakh, Tibet, 19th Century AD

Lamassu

Room 8 - Pair of Lamassu from Nimrud & reliefs from the palace of Tiglath-Pileser III

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci - The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and the Infant Saint John the Baptist (prep for 'The Burlington House Cartoon'), c. 1499–1500

luohan

Room 33 - The luohan from Yixian made of glazed stoneware, China, 907-1125 AD

Lycia

Room 20a – Tomb of Merehi & Greek Vases, Lycia, 360 BC

Lysimachos

Tetradrachm of Lysimachos with the head of Alexander, Greece, about 305-281BC

mahiole

Room 24 - Hawaiian feather helmet or mahiole, late 1700s AD

Main Entrance

The main entrance to the museum, with Greek temple style portico, 2007

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Room 21 - Fragmentary horse from the colossal chariot group which topped the podium of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Turkey, c. 350 BC

Metopes

Room 18 - Parthenon statuary from the east pediment and Metopes from the south wall, Athens, Greece, 447-438 B.C

Mildenhall Treasure

Room 49 - Roman Britain with the Mildenhall Treasure in the foreground

Ming banknote

Chinese Ming banknote for 1 guan, China, 1375 AD

Ming dynasty

Room 33 - An assistant to the Judge of Hell, figure from a judgement group, Ming dynasty, China, 16th Century AD

Mixtec

Room 27 - Turquoise Mosaic Mask, Mixtec-Aztec, Mexico, 1400-1500 AD

Mold gold cape

Room 51 - Mold gold cape, North Wales, Bronze Age, c. 1900–1600 BC

Mound City

Room 26 - Stone pipe representing an otter from Mound City, Ohio, USA, 200 BC - 400 AD

Mughal Empire

Portrait of Ibrâhîm 'Âdil Shâh II (1580–1626), Mughal Empire of India, 1615 AD

Nasr II

Nasr II, Nishapur coin, central Asia, 921-922 AD

Nebuchadnezzar II

Room 55 - Panel with striding lion made from glazed bricks, Neo-Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar II, Southern Iraq, 604-562 BC

Nectanebo II

Ceiling of the Great Court and the black siltstone obelisks of Nectanebo II, c. 350 BC

Needwood Forest

Room 50 - Gold torc found in the Needwood Forest, England, 75 BC

Nero

Roman coins of Nero and Caligula found at Pudukottai, India, 1st Century AD

Nimrud Ivories

Room 57 - Carved ivory object from the Nimrud Ivories, Phoenician, Nimrud, Iraq, 9th–8th Century BC

Nineveh

Room 9 - Nineveh Palace Reliefs, 701-681 BC

Ninhursag

Room 56 - Statue of Kurlil, from the Temple of Ninhursag in Tell al-`Ubaid, southern Iraq, c. 2500 BC

Nubkheperre Intef

Room 63 - Wooden coffin of pharaoh Nubkheperre Intef of Egypt's 17th dynasty, 1600 BC

obelisk of King Nectanebo II

Great Court - Black siltstone obelisk of King Nectanebo II of Egypt, Thirtieth dynasty, about 350 BC

Otobo masquerade

Room 25 - Otobo masquerade in the Africa Gallery, Nigeria, 20th Century AD

Oxus Treasure

Room 52 - A chariot from the Oxus Treasure, the most important surviving collection of Achaemenid Persian metalwork, c. 5th to 4th Centuries BC

patera

Room 70 - Silver patera from Syria, c. 2nd Century AD

Percival David

Collector of Chinese porcelain Sir Percival David died #onthisday in 1964. You can see a free display of almost 1,700 beautiful Chinese ceramics he collected in Room 95 http://ow.ly/pDzx2

Perugia

Room 71 - Silver panels with repoussé reliefs overlaid with electrum foil, Etruscan artwork, Castel San Marino, near Perugia, central Italy, 540–520 BC

Peter Paul Rubens

Artist Peter Paul Rubens died #onthisday in 1640. Here's his magnificent drawing of a lioness http://ow.ly/xqvub

Pharaoh

Room 4 - Green siltstone head of a Pharaoh, 26th-30th Dynasty, 600-340 BC

Popayán

Room 24 - Bird pectoral made from gold alloy, Popayán, Colombia, 900-1600 AD

Portrait Sculpture

Room 85 - Portrait Sculpture, Roman

Potosí

8 Reales silver coin minted in Potosí, Bolivia, 1770 AD

Prehistoric Europe

Room 51 - Prehistoric Europe and the Middle East

Ptolemy V

Tetradrachm issued by Ptolemy V, Greece, 204–181 BC

Queen of the Night relief

Room 56 - The famous Babylonian 'Queen of the Night relief' of the goddess Ishtar, Iraq, c.1790 BC

Queen Puabi

Room 56 - Gold cup from Queen Puabi's tomb in the Royal Cemetery at Ur, Mesopotamian artwork, c. 2600-2400 BC

Quimbaya Culture

Room 24 - Gold Lime Flasks (poporos), Quimbaya Culture, Colombia, 600-1100 AD

Ram in a Thicket

Room 56 - The 'Ram in a Thicket' figure, one of a pair, from Ur, Southern Iraq, c. 2600 BC

Raphael

Raphael – Study of Heads, Mother and Child, c. 1509-11

refurbished Money

Room 68 - The refurbished Money Gallery at the museum

Rembrandt

Rembrandt – The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross, 1634–35

Renaissance Metalware

Display case of Renaissance metalware from the Waddesdon Bequest, 2014

Rogier van der Weyden

Rogier van der Weyden - Portrait of a Young Woman, c. 1440

Royal Gold Cup

Room 40 - Royal Gold Cup or Saint Agnes Cup, made in Paris, France, 1370–80 AD

Sakhmet

Room 4 - Three black granite statues of the goddess Sakhmet, c.1400 BC

San Agustín

Room 2 - Stone tomb guardian, part human part jaguar, from San Agustín, Columbia, c. 300-600 AD

Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli - Allegory of Abundance, 1480-1485

Sculpture of the god Imdugud

Room 56 - Sculpture of the god Imdugud, lion-headed eagle surmounting a lintel made from sheets of copper, Temple of Ninhursag at Tell al-`Ubaid, Iraq, c. 2500 BC

Senusret III

Room 4 - Three black granite statues of the pharaoh Senusret III, c.1850 BC

Sharjah

Hoard comprising 78 Persian silver coins from Sharjah in United Arab Emirates, late 17th Century AD

Spinario (Boy with Thorn)

Room 22 - Roman marble copy of the famous 'Spinario (Boy with Thorn)', Italy, c. 1st Century AD

Standard of Ur

Room 56 - The famous 'Standard of Ur', a hollow wooden box with scenes of war and peace, from Ur, c. 2600 BC

statue of a husband and wife

Room 4 - Limestone statue of a husband and wife, 1300-1250 BC

statue of the Buddha

Room 33 - Gilded bronze statue of the Buddha, Dhaneswar Khera, India, 5th Century AD

Stela

Room 53 - Stela said to come from Tamma' cemetery, Yemen, 1st Century AD

Swimming Reindeer

Room 3 - Swimming Reindeer carving, France, c. 13,000 years BC

Tall al-Ajjul hoard

Room 57 - Gold jewellery from the Tall al-Ajjul hoard, Canaanite, Palestine, about 1750-1550 BC

Thailand

Room 33 - Covered hanging jar with underglaze decoration, Si Satchanalai (Sawankalok), north-central Thailand, 14th-16th Centuries AD

The Creation of Man

Michelangelo - Studies of a reclining male nude: Adam in the fresco 'The Creation of Man' on the vault of the Sistine Chapel, c. 1511

The Dying Lion

Room 55 – The Dying Lion, Nineveh, Neo-Assyrian, Iraq, c. 645 BC

Thebes

Room 62 - Detail from the mummy case of Artemidorus the Younger, a Greek who had settled in Thebes, Egypt, during Roman times, 100-200 AD

Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas Gainsborough - Drawing of a woman with a rose, 1763-1765

Thomas Tompion

Room 39 - Ornate clock made by Thomas Tompion, England, 1690 AD

Titian

Titian - Drowning of the Pharaoh's Host in the Red Sea, 1515–17

Tomb of Nebamun

Room 61 -The famous false fresco 'Pond in a Garden' from the Tomb of Nebamun, c. 1350 BC

Tomb of Payava

Room 20 - Tomb of Payava, Lycia, Turkey, 360 BC

totem poles

Great Court - Two house frontal totem poles, Haida, British Columbia, Canada, about 1850 AD

Towneley

Room 84 - Towneley Roman Sculptures

Townley Caryatid

Main Staircase – Townley Caryatid, Roman, 140–160 AD

Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh - Man Digging in the Orchard (print), 1883

Virgin and Child

Room 40 - Ivory statue of Virgin and Child, who is crushing a dragon under her left foot from Paris, France, 1310-1330 AD

Wandsworth Shield

Room 50 - Wandsworth Shield, Iron Age shield boss in La Tène style, England, 2nd Century BC

Wigmund

Gold solidus of Wigmund, Archibishop of York, northern England, 837-854 AD

Yaxchilan

Room 27 - Lintel 25 from Yaxchilan, Late Classic, Mexico, 600-900 AD

Younger Memnon

Room 4 - Colossal bust of Ramesses II, the 'Younger Memnon', 1250 BC

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