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17 September 2014
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How Art Made the World - Museum Guide

The museums listed below cover the art and history discussed in the series. The museums' websites have opening times and other admission details.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Pitt Rivers Museum

One of Oxford's most popular attractions, The Pitt Rivers Museum is famous for its period atmosphere and outstanding collections from many cultures around the world, past and present. The objects are arranged 'typologically', meaning they are displayed according to their function to show how similar problems have been solved at different times by different peoples.

The museum is offering two trails around its displays to coincide with the series.

World Museum Liverpool

After a £35 million revamp, World Museum Liverpool – formerly Liverpool Museum – takes vistors around the world and back in time. The world cultures gallery covers Asia, Oceania, the Americas and Africa. The ancient world gallery includes Egypt, Greece and Rome and the Anglo-Saxons.

Have a hands-on experience in the Weston Discovery Centre with objects from across the world, past and present. The Treasure Houser Theatre has a programme of family shows, performances, films and talks.

Salisbury Museum

Salisbury Museum collections excel in archaeology and include the prehistoric finds from Stonehenge and medieval finds from Salisbury, together with those excavated by General Pitt Rivers, the 'father of modern scientific archaeology'.

Find out more about the Amesbury Archer who features in the series. His grave is one of the most significant early Bronze Age burial excavated in Britain, with the earliest gold, copper knives, five beaker pots and the equipment of an archer. Could this be the king who built Stonehenge?

Other collections include local history, Turner watercolours, ceramics and costumes.

The Ashmolean Museum

The Ashmolean Museum has developed a family trail to link with How Art Made the World. The trail will explore early representations of the human body from pre-historic times and Ancient Egypt to the Greek world of the 5th century B.C.

The museum is one of seven museums belonging to the University of Oxford. It was founded in 1683 and is the oldest museum in Britain. Its collections span the civilizations of east and west, displaying a rich variety of art and archaeology.

The Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge contains works of art that span 10,000 years of human history and represent diverse cultures. The ideas running through How Art Made the World can be further explored in the Museum's galleries. From ancient Greek vase paintings to 20th century abstraction, from narrative to propaganda, an exploration of the Fitzwilliam Museum's collections will illuminate the central themes of this remarkable series.

The Manchester Museum

With millions of objects from all over the world, The Manchester Museum is one of the country's finest university museums. Butterflies from India, birds from the Pacific, fossils from Australia, vases from the Mediterranean are just a taste of the items on show.

The Museum of Scotland

The Museum of Scotland, which is right next door to the Royal Museum, covers Scotland's history from the rocks that shaped the landscape to the present day.

There is an impressive array of Roman artefacts including the recently discovered Cramond Lioness – a sandstone lioness that served as a memorial for a high ranking Roman officer. Also on display are face-masks, which formed part of parade helmets worn by Roman soldiers and a slab from the Antonine Wall, which divided Roman Scotland from the area further north.

The Royal Museum, Edinburgh

The Egyptian Gallery in the Royal Museum, Edinburgh, displays an internationally important collection of Egyptian artefacts, including a number of beautiful cartonnages (painted coffins) as well as furniture, jewellery and textiles.

It includes the only known example of a double coffin for two young brothers, whose interior intriguingly shows paintings of the two boys as the artist imagined they would look as adults, and the re-assemblage of the Qurneh burial, thought to be the only complete Royal burial on display outside of Egypt.

The Royal Museum is home to objects from over 80 countries across the world, so you can also see a variety of Greek, Etruscan and Roman items, including ceramic vases, ancient glass, terracotta figurines and stone sculptures, as well as objects from many of the other countries featured in the series.

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 TV Programmes - BBC Two

How Art Made the World starts Monday 9 May, 9pm, BBC Two
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