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Old World, New Powers (1100 - 300 BC)

From the very first coinage to burial shrouds, Neil MacGregor decodes five objects to reveal the ambition of new regimes across the world.

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Gold Coin of Croesus

5/5 Neil MacGregor discusses the world's first proper coins that made King Croesus so rich.

Sat 20 Feb 2010 00:30 BBC Radio 4

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



    21 Lachish Reliefs
    22 Sphinx of Tahaqo
    23 Chinese Zhou ritual vessel
    24 Paracas Textile
    25 Gold coin of Croesus

    Browse all the British Museum objects on the A History of the World site
  • Old World, New Powers

    Around 3000 years ago new powers and peoples arose across the world, often replacing existing powers. Egypt was challenged by its former subject peoples from Sudan. In Iraq a rising military power, the Assyrians, constructed a new empire across the Middle East. In China, a group of outsiders, the Zhou, overthrew the long established Shang dynasty. The struggle for power and resources brought about economic change. In both the Middle East and China, coins were created and used for the first time. Meanwhile South America’s first cities and complex societies began to emerge.

Shakespeare's Restless World

Image for Shakespeare's Restless World

Neil MacGregor uncovers Shakespeare's world through twenty objects.

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