Monday 17 May 2010

A History of the World in 100 Objects Returns for Second Series

Today has started with some great news as A History of the World in 100 Objects has returned for its second installment. I first came across this podcast in January when in it was going into its second week and I was hooked.

This BBC podcast is part of a collaboration with the British Museum and aims to recount the history of humanity using 100 object's from the Museum's collection's. 

The series, which is narrated by the Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor, is brodcast on Radio 4 each weekday with each episode being approx 15 minutes long and the complete series being aired in three sections with the second beginning today. The first part of the series was brocast in January-February and is still available to listen to online or download

"In these programmes, I'm travelling back in time, and across the globe, to see how we humans over 2 million years have shaped our world and been shaped by it, and I'm going to tell this story exclusively through the things that humans have made: all sorts of things, carefully designed, and then either admired and preserved, or used, broken and thrown away. I've chosen just a hundred objects from different points on our journey, from a cooking pot to a golden galleon, from a Stone Age tool to a credit card." says Neil MacGregor

"Telling history through things, whether it's an Egyptian mummy or a credit card, is what museums are for, and because the British Museum has collected things from all over the globe, it's not a bad place to try to tell a world history. Of course, it can only be 'a' history of the world, not 'the' history. When people come to the museum they choose their own objects and make their own journey round the world and through time, but I think what they will find is that their own histories quickly intersect with everybody elses, and when that happens, you no longer have a history of a particular people or nation, but a story of endless connections."

The BBC blog reports "A difference between this and the first part of the series is that you will have more time to explore the world in a particular slice in time. Across the next eight weeks the objects will often reflect on larger, broader themes and issues that run across this history. These include how political leaders should rule and represent their power; how religions visualise their deities and ideals; and the potency of even apparently mundane objects to unlock secrets of the past."

Along with the brodcast the BBC have set up a website A History of the World where images of the objects can be viewed in close up and you can watch short videos of many of the objects.

The site also highlights Museums from around the country which have chosen objects from their own collections that reflect world history from each area's perspective. Over three hundred and fifty museums are already registered on the site and even Schools and individuals have also joined in the project uploading images.

If you have an interest in History or even if you don't this is a podcast worth having a look at.

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