September 08, 2016

A History Of The World In 100 Objects Explored In National Museum Of Australia Exhibition


A new exhibition at the National Museum of Australia aims to use 100 objects, including extraordinarily rare artefacts, to tell two million years of human history.

A History of the World in 100 Objects is a touring exhibition from the British Museum, visiting the National Museum in Canberra until January next year.

Objects range from ancient stone artefacts found in Africa, some of the earliest traces of human history, to US election badges and credit cards.

Director of the National Museum of Australia, Dr Mathew Trinca, said the head of a bronze statue of first Roman Emperor Augustus stands out in the extraordinary collection.
"Any of these objects in their own right is a treasure," he said.

Brass Hebrew Astrolabe, 1345–1355 CE, probably from Spain.                                                                  

"But when I look at something like the bronze head of Augustus, which rarely leaves the British Museum, I really think how lucky we are to have it here in Australia."


The collection also includes the Lewis Chessmen, found on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland and dated to the 12th century, and an Assyrian clay tablet telling a pre-Christian version of the story of Noah's Ark.

Dr Trinca said the exhibition was laid out chronologically, allowing visitors to journey across time through the individual objects.
"I want people to be inspired by it," he said.

"Inspired by the idea that by looking at things, we can reach into the lives of others.
"Whether those others are separated by time and space from us, they're still the lives of human beings who've experienced life on this planet."

The exhibition visited Perth earlier this year, and has also travelled through Japan and Abu Dhabi.

It was inspired by a popular BBC Radio program, discussing human history through 100 objects from the museum.

Dr Belinda Crerar from the British Museum said it was an ambitious premise for an exhibition.
"I can't recall any other exhibition that has quite such a broad scope, it covers two million years of history all around the globe," she said.

She said given how rare many of the objects were, and the difficulty in removing and transporting them from the British Museum, it was a unique collection.

"It is really exceptional to have all of these pieces together in one room," she said.
The exhibition also features the world's oldest wi-fi technology from the National Museum's own collection - to feature as a 101st object.

A History of the World in 100 Objects runs until January 29, 2017. 

Above - The NMA contributed the world's first wi-fi technology as the 101st object in the collection.

By Tom Lowrey

With many thanks to ABC
Top picture - Statue of Mithras, marble, 100–200 CE, Rome, Italy.
More on archeology here.
More on art here.
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