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Living with the Dead

Neil MacGregor's series on the role and expression of beliefs continues with a focus on our relationship with the dead.

Neil MacGregor's series on the role and expression of beliefs continues with a reflection on our relationship with the dead.

In the British Museum, he focuses on mummy bundles from Peru, skeletons wrapped in textiles made of llama wool or cotton. For the living, these were ancestors with great wisdom and knowledge of the world, who could be called upon to help key decision-makers.

He also examines two Chinese 'ancestor portraits', and discovers how and why they were venerated by surviving family members.

Producer Paul Kobrak

The series is produced in partnership with the British Museum, with the assistance of Dr Christopher Harding, University of Edinburgh.
Photograph (c) The Trustees of the British Museum.

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15 minutes

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Neil MacGregor tells the stories of some of the key objects in the series.

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