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The Beginning of Science and Literature (1500 - 700 BC)

4,000 years ago societies were becoming more sophisticated. Among this week's objects are the earliest examples of literature and science

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Statue of Ramesses II

5/5 The world of Egypt as ruled by Ramesses II and told through one of his giant statues.

Sat 13 Feb 2010 00:30 BBC Radio 4

See all previous episodes from A History of the World in 100 Objects

  • The Beginning of Science and Literature (1500 - 700 BC)

    The development of cities and states in different parts of the world had many important consequences. Two of these were the world’s earliest written literature and the development of scientific and mathematical knowledge. These states often fought each other, and rulers sought to demonstrate their success and power over their subjects through the creation of impressive monuments. Early societies did not exist in isolation, but were connected through extensive trade networks by road and also by sea. Although the majority of the world’s population lived in small villages, these people were also capable of creating sophisticated objects, monuments and cultures.



    16 Flood Tablet
    17 Rhind Mathematical Papyrus
    18 Minoan Bull Leaper
    19 Mold Gold Cape
    20 Statue of Ramesses II

    Browse all the British Museum objects on the A History of the World

Shakespeare's Restless World

Image for Shakespeare's Restless World

Neil MacGregor uncovers Shakespeare's world through twenty objects.

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