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Inside The Palace: Secrets At Court (700 - 950 AD)

From the inside of a harem to inside a Chinese grave, five objects shed light on the lives of the ruling elites 1200 years ago

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Chinese Tang tomb figures

5/5 Neil MacGregor examines a collection of tomb figures from Tang dynasty China.

Sat 19 Jun 2010 00:30 BBC Radio 4

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

  • Inside the palace: secrets at court

    Inside the palace: secrets at court

    51. Maya relief of royal blood-letting
    52. Harem wall painting fragments
    53. Lothair Crystal
    54. Statue of Tara
    55. Chinese Tang tomb figures

    Week 11 explores life inside the courts of the elites between AD 700 and 900. While the Maya were flourishing in the Americas, two other great powers: Tang China and the Islamic Empire were also at their peak. A large part of Europe was briefly united under the rule of the Emperor Charlemagne, before it fragmented into individual, squabbling states. The great powers of Eurasia were connected by maritime trade across the Indian Ocean, which fuelled a booming world economy. Objects from the hearts of these courts, provide an insight into how rulers viewed themselves and the world they were creating.

Shakespeare's Restless World

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Neil MacGregor uncovers Shakespeare's world through twenty objects.

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