Entire World History in Just 100 British Museum Treasures

Article excerpt

Byline: Louise Jury Chief Arts Correspondent

A STATUE of an Egyptian pharaoh, shadow puppets from Indonesia and the Sutton Hoo helmet are among the 100 objects chosen to tell the history of the world, the British Museum revealed today.

All have been selected by Neil MacGregor, its director, and a team of curators in a three-year trawl of its collections for a Radio 4 series which starts in January.

The aim is to escape traditional euro-centric views of history to present the broadest possible geographical spread.

The series, A History of the World in 100 Objects, will start with the oldest object in the museum, a handaxe from the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania dating from 1.2-1.4 million years ago. But the 100th object will be a new acquisition reflecting an issue of contemporary concern.

A History of the World in 100 Objects stars on 18 January. www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld

COLLECTION HIGHLIGHTS

Lewis Chessmen, 1150-1200 AD, Isle of Lewis, Scotland. …