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Listed under:  History  >  Historical periods  >  Ancient history
StillImage

Egyptian overseer ushabtis, 1070-712 BCE

This is an overseer ushabtis, made in Egypt sometime between 1070 and 712 BCE. The male mummiform figure is made of Egyptian faience with an exterior pale turquoise-blue glaze. The figure is shown wearing a short headdress and black painted 'seshed' headband knotted at the back. A vertical column of hieroglyphs are handpainted ...

StillImage

Egyptian worker ushabtis, 945-715 BCE

This is a worker ushabtis, made at some stage between 945 and 715 BCE. The male mummiform figure is made of Egyptian faience with a blue glaze finish. The figure is shown wearing a headdress and 'seshed' headband knotted at the back. The body is wrapped in bandages with only the head and arms visible, crossed left over ...

StillImage

Brick from the Great Wall of China, 1368-1644

This is a rectangular fired clay-brick from the Great Wall of China. The brick is presented within a timber display frame on four curved legs with a removable lid.

Audio

Stand and deliver: public speaking and democracy

Have you ever heard the words 'Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears'? They come from the great orator Mark Antony talking about the death of Caesar in Shakespeare's play 'Julius Caesar'. Listen to this audio interview with classics scholar Dr Kathryn Welch to find out what we can learn from the first public speakers, ...

Moving Image

What's inside a mummy?

How can new technology be used to find out what's in a mummy without unwrapping it? Watch as Horus, an Egyptian mummy, is taken to hospital to undergo a CT (computed tomography) scan. The scan reveals what is under Horus's bandages, tells historians the age he died, and might provide some clues about the reason for his death.

Moving Image

Yucatan Peninsula: Mayan heritage

Discover ruins of a lost civilisation of the Maya at Tulum, on the Yucatán Peninsula in south-eastern Mexico. See what has become of the civilisation's cenotes, its ancient water resources, as a Maya descendant speaks of his sadness at what has happened to the land of his forebears.

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Adorning the coffins of Ancient Egyptians

How did the people of ancient Egypt prepare the deceased for the afterlife? Archaeologists have excavated vast numbers of Egyptian mummies and many more remain to be discovered. Be amazed by the colourful paintings and inscriptions that adorn the coffins encasing the mummified bodies of ancient Egyptians.

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Art celebrates death in the Valley of the Kings

A number of Egyptian pharaohs were buried in elaborate tombs in the Valley of the Kings, on the west bank of the Nile River at Luxor. These tombs played a crucial role in beliefs about the afterlife of those who were housed within them, and they were decorated with detailed, symbolic reliefs. Find out how the extraordinary ...

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Always check your sources

What better place can you imagine for a Library of Knowledge, where the answers to all questions can be found, than beneath the paws of the Sphinx? Sounds perfect. But how reliable are your sources of information? Make up your own mind as you watch this clip about ancient Egypt's legendary hall of records.

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Who broke the Sphinx's nose?

For many years the troops of French military commander Napoleon Bonaparte were blamed for mutilating the nose of the Sphinx. In this clip, historical sources are used to bring this conclusion into dispute. Listen as Dr Zahi Hawass, archaeologist, Egyptologist, author, and former minister of state for antiquities in Egypt, ...

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Unlocking the identity of the Sphinx

What is known about the origins of the Sphinx? Do we know who built it and who it might resemble? Watch as forensic pathologists seek to determine which pharaoh might have commissioned the building of the Sphinx, then listen to reasons why the pathologists' findings might not be conclusive.

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Exploring the mystical sanctuary of Osiris

Travel 30 metres beneath the Giza Plateau to explore one of Egypt's most significant archaeological discoveries, the Tomb of Osiris. The god Osiris is the guarantor of eternal life. His symbolic tomb provided ancient Egyptians with a sanctuary in which they could pay homage to 'the ruler of the great beyond'. Find out more ...

Video

Pharos of Alexandria, 247 BCE

This is a fly-through animation of the lighthouse or Pharos of Alexandria in Egypt as it would have appeared when completed by the Macedonian king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The animation shows the location of the lighthouse on an island off the coast of Alexandria, its three-tiered structure and its perpetual fire ...

Video

Deir el-Medina, 2nd century BCE

This is a fly-through animation of the settlement, temple and tombs of Deir el-Medina in Egypt as they would have appeared in the New Kingdom and the Ptolemaic periods. Accompanied by a detailed commentary and interspersed with footage of the area today and cut-away diagrams, the animation shows the position of Western ...

Interactive resource

Secondary history: historical inquiry - research

These seven learning activities focus on research using a variety of tools (software) and devices (hardware), and illustrate the ways in which content, pedagogy and technology can be successfully and effectively integrated in order to promote learning. In the activities, teachers provide appropriate guidance and scaffolds ...

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Ancient Chinese example of 'bridge' money, c1000-500 BCE

This is an extremely ancient example of money from China dated around 1000-500 BCE. It is copper alloy proto-money in a boomerang shape with squared-off ends and a single pierced hole at the centre top of a convex curve. This item is 35 mm high x 90 mm wide x 5 mm deep.

Interactive Resource

The art of ancient Greek theatre - online exhibition

This is an online exhibition about theatre in ancient Greece. Presenting objects from various museums, the exhibition has two main components. The first is 14 artworks, including sculptures, painted vases and a rare fragmentary papyrus. The second component is an audio file of readings from lines 297-348 of Sophocles's ...

Interactive Resource

Ages of treasure timeline

This is an illustrated and annotated timeline of the Ancient World, from the Palaeolithic era to the Norman era. The timeline moves through seven distinct eras: Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking and Norman. It includes images of the key sites and treasures from Britain's ...

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Mummification in Bronze Age Britain

This resource is about the discovery of two Bronze Age mummies in Britain. It describes the discovery by a team of archaeologists of the bodies of a male and a female under the floor of a prehistoric house on the Hebridean Island of South Uist. It presents the evidence for mummification following investigations using archaeological ...

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Rome's pivotal emperors

This resource is about the Roman emperors who greatly influenced the empire's structure and direction. It introduces six of the most important emperors: Augustus, Vespasian, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimus Severus and Constantine. Images of the emperors link to descriptive text about their lives and pivotal aspects of ...