The Mummy of Hornedjitef from the Collection of The British Museum
A history, not The history of the World told through 100 man-made objects in the collection of The British Museum. I listened, riveted, to BBC Radio 4's first programme this morning with the Museum's director Neil MacGregor unpicking the idea of telling history through these not necessarily famous objects, but nevertheless ones that can tell a global story connecting all our histories.
By looking at the 3rd Century BC Mummy of Hornedjitef he conjured the idea that we are looking back in time to the sacred paraphernalia for transporting the soul of an Egyptian priest via a hazardous journey into the After Life. Little did he think his mortal remains would end up in Bloomsbury!
As a link into the next object, we heard the ghostly magnetic pulse of a mighty star that our ancestors across large parts of the earth saw explode in broad daylight in 1054. What, briefly, was happening around the world at that moment? It was certainly an ill-fated moment for the English King Harold. William the Conqueror's 1066 invasion hadn't yet been predicted in his own stars.
This is stunning stuff. More than I have been able to mention here, it raises many scholarly questions and attempts to answer them in the most accessible way. I don't think you will be disappointed.
Find the programme blog here. There's also a deeply infuriating interactive website here. Good luck in navigating it. Most importantly, listen to Episode 1 here.