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Society & Culture
History

The British Museum Podcast

Updated about 1 month ago

Society & Culture
History
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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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

62 Ratings
Average Ratings
51
5
4
1
1

Please do more!

By kakax1970 - Dec 19 2019
Read more
These are wonderfully entertaining and informative! I do hope this podcast will continue. From someone who may never make it over there, this podcast give me knowledge I would never have had! Thank you!

More please

By haciendasanpedro - Nov 21 2016
Read more
Please keep the podcasts coming!

iTunes Ratings

62 Ratings
Average Ratings
51
5
4
1
1

Please do more!

By kakax1970 - Dec 19 2019
Read more
These are wonderfully entertaining and informative! I do hope this podcast will continue. From someone who may never make it over there, this podcast give me knowledge I would never have had! Thank you!

More please

By haciendasanpedro - Nov 21 2016
Read more
Please keep the podcasts coming!
Cover image of The British Museum Podcast

The British Museum Podcast

Latest release on Jul 01, 2020

Read more

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.

Rank #1: The Walls of Jericho

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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.

Dec 13 2016

24mins

Play

Rank #2: The Cat Man

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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’.

Music

‘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: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Apr 06 2017

25mins

Play

Rank #3: The Museum podcast #3: The Story of Sutton Hoo

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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.

Jun 05 2019

55mins

Play

Rank #4: The Museum Podcast Christmas special: 12 objects for Christmas

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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 18 2019

38mins

Play

Rank #5: The Museum Podcast #8: A is for Amazon, B is for blueprints, C is for communism

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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.

Nov 06 2019

36mins

Play

Rank #6: The Museum Podcast #7: Innovative exhibitions, international gold and noisy children

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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.  

Oct 02 2019

31mins

Play

Rank #7: The Museum podcast #9 Season’s greetings from the British Museum

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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.

Dec 04 2019

51mins

Play

Rank #8: The Museum podcast episode #1: Buckets of the British Museum

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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 03 2019

44mins

Play

Rank #9: The Museum podcast #2: Dirty dishes, poison and black goo…

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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.

May 01 2019

1hr 2mins

Play

Rank #10: The Museum podcast #10: Happy New Year!

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Hugo and Sushma kick off 2020 with an interview with the Museum’s director, Hartwig Fischer. In the archives, Francesca and Sian take a look at the history of the Hirayama Paper conservation studio.

Jan 01 2020

35mins

Play

The Museum podcast #16: Ice cream, olive oil and the Phrygian Sibyl

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This month we're talking food history and Renaissance art. First up, Hugo talks to Alexandra Fletcher about the unlikely (to some!) combination of archaeology and ice cream. Inspired by this, and as the weather heats up, we asked food historian Tasha Marks to delve deeper into the history of ice cream. Curator Jamie Fraser also gives us an overview of the significance and production of olive oil in the ancient Levant, and Hugo pays homage to Raphael to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist's death.

During this challenging time, we’re bringing inspiring stories of humanity’s shared histories and cultural achievements to millions of people online. Your support ensures that we can continue to make the collection and programmes like this one available to as many people as possible. If you can, please donate todayhttp://ow.ly/1e1Y30qHebG

Jul 01 2020

1hr 5mins

Play

The Museum podcast #15: The inevitable Corona episode

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This month Sushma is on furlough leave but Hugo and Sian interview Head of Collection Management Leonora Baird Smith about caring for the collection in lockdown. Dr Janina Ramirez talks about scripting her love letter to the Museum for the BBC Four ‘Museums in Quarantine’ documentary series, and Clive Gamble, renowned archaeologist and former Museum Trustee, discusses how humans became a global species and how we use objects to stay in touch.

Jun 03 2020

1hr 4mins

Play

The Museum podcast #14: Venetian maps and Volunteers.

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This month Hugo, Sushma (pre-furlough) and Sian talk about how lockdown is affecting them and their work. Curator Sarah Vowles gives us some in-depth insight into a monumental map of Venice made over 500 years ago by Jacopo de’ Barbari (a zoomable image of which can be found on our revamped Collection online at britishmuseum.org/collection). Volunteer Mariu Huriaga talks about her experience of giving tours all around the Museum for over two decades.

May 07 2020

45mins

Play

The Museum podcast #13: All about accessibility

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Unlucky for some, episode 13 of the Museum podcast sees the Museum closed for the first time since the war, but fear not – the podcast soldiers on. This month Hugo and Sushma look at an area of work that is dear to all of our hearts: equality and diversity. Curator Gareth Bereton presents the object of the month: the beautiful and enigmatic Standard of Ur. There’s no archive section this month as Francesca has been poorly,  so we wish her a hearty get well soon.  

Apr 01 2020

42mins

Play

The Museum Podcast episode #12: WOMEN!

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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.

Mar 04 2020

51mins

Play

The Museum Podcast #11: LGBTQ+ histories, stone tools and the Museum rifle club.

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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.

Feb 05 2020

54mins

Play

The Museum podcast special: Women of Troy

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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

Jan 22 2020

54mins

Play

The Museum podcast #10: Happy New Year!

Podcast cover
Read more

Hugo and Sushma kick off 2020 with an interview with the Museum’s director, Hartwig Fischer. In the archives, Francesca and Sian take a look at the history of the Hirayama Paper conservation studio.

Jan 01 2020

35mins

Play

The Museum Podcast Christmas special: 12 objects for Christmas

Podcast cover
Read more

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 18 2019

38mins

Play

The Museum podcast #9 Season’s greetings from the British Museum

Podcast cover
Read more

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.

Dec 04 2019

51mins

Play

The Museum Podcast #8: A is for Amazon, B is for blueprints, C is for communism

Podcast cover
Read more

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.

Nov 06 2019

36mins

Play

The Museum Podcast #7: Innovative exhibitions, international gold and noisy children

Podcast cover
Read more

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.  

Oct 02 2019

31mins

Play

The Museum Podcast #6: X-rays and pioneering women

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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.

Sep 09 2019

33mins

Play

The Museum Podcast #5 Trainees, Travel and Tutankhamun

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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.

Aug 07 2019

1hr 2mins

Play

The Museum Podcast #4 The Balmy Heights of July

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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.

Jul 03 2019

53mins

Play

The Museum podcast #3: The Story of Sutton Hoo

Podcast cover
Read more

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.

Jun 05 2019

55mins

Play

The Museum podcast #2: Dirty dishes, poison and black goo…

Podcast cover
Read more

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.

May 01 2019

1hr 2mins

Play

The Museum podcast episode #1: Buckets of the British Museum

Podcast cover
Read more

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 03 2019

44mins

Play

The (new) Museum podcast: coming soon

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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 02 2019

Play

The Cat Man

Podcast cover
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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’.

Music

‘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: creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Apr 06 2017

25mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

62 Ratings
Average Ratings
51
5
4
1
1

Please do more!

By kakax1970 - Dec 19 2019
Read more
These are wonderfully entertaining and informative! I do hope this podcast will continue. From someone who may never make it over there, this podcast give me knowledge I would never have had! Thank you!

More please

By haciendasanpedro - Nov 21 2016
Read more
Please keep the podcasts coming!