Neil MacGregor tells the story of a tiny gold chariot from ancient Persia.
The World in the Age of Confucius (500 - 300 BC)
Oxus Chariot Model
Basse Yutz Flagons
Neil MacGregor explores the early world of the Celts through two bronze drinking flagons.
Parthenon Sculpture: Centaur and Lapith
Neil MacGregor on some of the world's most disputed objects: the Parthenon sculptures.
Olmec Stone Mask
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a forgotten people of ancient Mexico.
Chinese Bronze Bell
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a Chinese bronze bell from the age of Confucius.
The Beginning of Science and Literature (1500 - 700 BC)
Rhind Mathematical Papyrus
Neil MacGregor describes man's early calculations on an Egyptian papyrus fragment.
Old World, New Powers (1100 - 300 BC)
Gold Coin of Croesus
Neil MacGregor discusses the world's first proper coins that made King Croesus so rich.
Neil MacGregor gives an account of a great flood much older than the one told in the Bible
The First Cities and States (4000 - 2000 BC)
Early Writing Tablet
Neil MacGregor finds the earliest example of writing: a 5,000-year-old tablet about beer.
Empire Builders (300 BC - 1 AD)
Head of Alexander
Neil MacGregor tells the story of Alexander the Great through a small silver coin.
Pillar of Ashoka
Neil MacGregor on the life and legacy of the great Indian ruler Ashoka.
Neil MacGregor examines stone stamps from the Indus Valley in modern-day Pakistan.
Chinese Han lacquer cup
Neil MacGregor on a beautiful lacquer cup and the imperial ambitions of Han Dynasty China.
Head of Augustus
The 2,000-year-old bronze head of one of the world's most famous rulers: Caesar Augustus.
Ancient Pleasures, Modern Spice (1 - 600 AD)
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a Roman silver cup with the power to shock.
Standard of Ur
Neil MacGregor describes the discovery of a set of mosaics from the ancient city of Ur.
North American Otter Pipe
Neil MacGregor on a 2,000-year-old stone pipe from North America.
Ceremonial Ballgame Belt
Neil MacGregor discovers the oldest ball game on earth.
The Rise of World Faiths (200 - 600 AD)
Seated Buddha from Gandhara
Neil MacGregor tells the story of one of the world's best known figures, the Buddha.
King Den's Sandal Label
Neil MacGregor investigates a great Pharoah's sandal label.
Hoxne Pepper Pot
Neil MacGregor uses a silver pepper pot to tell of the Roman spice trade with India.
Inside The Palace: Secrets At Court (700 - 950 AD)
Maya Relief of Royal Blood-Letting
A disturbing, bloody image from the ancient Mayan civilisation.
The Silk Road And Beyond (400 - 700 AD)
Silk Princess Painting
Neil MacGregor examines a painting from the Silk Road.
Korean Roof Tile
Neil MacGregor delves into the history of an artefact from Korea.
Neil MacGregor examines an engraved crystal and royal intrigue at the heart of Europe.
Moche Warrior Pot
Neil MacGregor examines a pottery warrior figure from a forgotten people in Peru.
Statue of Tara
Neil MacGregor looks at a beguiling statue of the Buddhist deity Tara.
Sutton Hoo Helmet
Neil MacGregor with one of the most sensational finds from Anglo-Saxon Britain.
Chinese Tang tomb figures
Neil MacGregor examines a collection of tomb figures from Tang dynasty China.
Gold Coins of Abd al-Malik
Two gold coins from Syria which sum up one of history's greatest political upheavals.
Arabian Bronze Hand
A mysterious bronze hand helps tell the story of religious belief in Arabia before Islam.
Hinton St Mary Mosaic
Neil MacGregor encounters one of the earliest images of Christ.
Pilgrims, Raiders and Traders (900 - 1300 AD)
Japanese bronze mirror
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a bronze mirror found in a sacred pond in Japan.
Silver Plate Showing Shapur II
Neil MacGregor examines a dramatic image of power and faith from ancient Iran.
Gold Coin of Kumaragupta I
Neil MacGregor examines the rise of religious imagery in India under the Guptas.
Kilwa pot sherds
Neil MacGregor sifts through broken pot fragments from an African beach.
Status Symbols (1200 - 1400 AD)
Neil MacGregor examines a board game found in the Outer Hebrides.
Making Us Human (2,000,000 - 9000 BC)
Mummy of Hornedjitef
On Neil's first visit to the British Museum he was intrigued by the Mummy of Hornedjitef.
Olduvai Stone Chopping Tool
Two million years ago in Tanzania, a chipped stone marked the emergence of modern humans.
Neil MacGregor on early humans as they slowly begin to move beyond their African homeland.
Neil MacGregor on the story of the Swimming Reindeer, a carving dating back 13,000 years.
After the Ice Age: Food and Sex (9000 - 3500 BC)
Neil MacGregor investigates early attempts at cookery.
Clovis Spear Point
Neil MacGregor on a hunting weapon dating from the earliest North American settlement.
Ain Sakri Lovers Figurine
Neil MacGregor continues a material history of human society with the story of two lovers.
Egyptian Clay Model of Cattle
Neil MacGregor considers the state of culture in Egypt before the pharaohs.
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a 7,000-year-old Japanese pot and a forgotten people.
Maya Maize God Statue
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a Maize God made of stone by the Mayan people.
Neil MacGregor examines an extraordinary astronomical instrument.
Meeting The Gods (1200 - 1400 AD)
Icon of the Triumph of Orthodoxy
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a 14th-century icon from the Byzantine Empire.
Holy Thorn Reliquary
Neil MacGregor examines a reliquary made for a thorn from Christ's crown of thorns.
Taino Ritual Seat
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a ritual seat from a lost Caribbean culture.
Shiva and Parvati Sculpture
Neil MacGregor examines a stone sculpture of the Hindu deity Shiva and his consort Parvati
Statue of Huastec Goddess
Neil MacGregor examines a sculpture of a goddess made by the Huastec people of Mexico.
The Threshold of the Modern World (1375-1550 AD)
Neil MacGregor with a 14th century bank note - from Ming Dynasty China.
Inca Gold Llama
Neil MacGregor with a model of a llama - the animal behind the Inca Empire.
Neil MacGregor discusses Durer's Rhinoceros.
The First Global Economy (1450 - 1600 AD)
The mechanical galleon
Neil Macgregor with a clockwork galleon designed for a grand dinner table.
Benin plaque - the Oba with Europeans
Neil MacGregor with some of the best examples of African art, the great plaques of Benin.
Neil MacGregor with one of the stars of the British Museum - an Aztec serpent.
Pieces of eight
Neil MacGregor with the first truly global money - silver pieces of eight.
Tolerance and Intolerance (1550 - 1700 AD)
The Shi'a religious parade standard
Neil Macgregor with a powerful symbol from Shia Iran.
Neil MacGregor with porcelain white elephants from Japan.
Miniature of a Mughal prince
Neil MacGregor with a miniature painting from Mughal India.
Shadow Puppet of Bima
Neil MacGregor explores religion and politics in South East Asia - through a shadow puppet
Reformation centenary broadsheet
Neil MacGregor with a souvenir of the 100th anniversary of the Protestant reformation.
Mexican codex map
Neil MacGregor explores the Spanish religious conquest of Mexico with a map.
Exploration, Exploitation and Enlightenment (1680 - 1820 AD)
Neil MacGregor with an African drum taken to America during the slave trade.
Hawaiian feather helmet
Neil MacGregor with a feathered helmet given to Captain Cook by Pacific Islanders.
North American buckskin map
Neil MacGregor with a buckskin map from North America.
Australian bark shield
Neil MacGregor with an aboriginal bark shield brought from Australia by Captain Cook.
Neil MacGregor with an object from the 18th century Chinese Enlightenment - a jade ring.
The 100th Object
Evan Davis runs through the contenders for A History of the World's last object.
Mass Production, Mass Persuasion (1780 - 1914 AD)
Ship's chronometer from HMS Beagle
Neil MacGregor with the chronometer that accompanied Darwin to South America.
Early Victorian tea set
Neil MacGregor tells the story of the global trade in tea - with a Victorian tea set.
Hokusai's The Great Wave
Neil MacGregor with a familiar image - Hokusai's The Great Wave.
Sudanese slit drum
Neil MacGregor with a wooden drum from Sudan that Kitchener presented to Queen Victoria.
Neil MacGregor with a penny coin defaced by suffragettes with the words "Votes for women".
The World of Our Making (1914 - 2010 AD)
Russian revolutionary plate
Neil MacGregor nears the end of his world history - with a Russian revolutionary plate.
Hockney's In the Dull Village
Neil MacGregor considers the state of human rights - with a David Hockney print.
Throne of Weapons
Neil MacGregor with an African throne - made from decommissioned guns.
Neil MacGregor with a credit card - one that is compliant with Sharia law.
Neil MacGregor examines a magnificent brass head from the African city of Ife.
Hoa Hakananai'a Easter Island Statue
Neil MacGregor discusses one of the extraordinary giant figures from Easter Island.
Jade Dragon Cup
Neil MacGregor with a jade cup that belonged a great leader of the Timurid Empire.
Neil MacGregor examines an ancient Chinese scroll that rules on how women should behave.
Neil MacGregor with one of the past's most recognisable objects; the Rosetta Stone.
Tughra of Suleiman the Magnificent
Neil MacGregor with the personal monogram of Suleyman the Magnificent.
The David Vases
Neil MacGregor examines a pair of porcelain vases from Yuan dynasty China.
Mold Gold Cape
Neil MacGregor tells the story of a gold cape found in Wales and made over 3500 years ago.
Harem wall painting fragments
Neil MacGregor on mysterious faces from a harem in an ancient city north of Baghdad.
Solar-powered lamp and charger
Neil MacGregor's last object in his world history - a solar-powered lamp and charger.
The Case of Dr Crippen
How one of the most notorious murderers in Edwardian London was captured
Scientist John Oxford concludes his series examining how Wales coped with the 1918 flu
Join Nicky Patrick and reporter Minreet Kaur, exploring our rich history and heritage.
Christian Carlisle takes an in depth look at the rich musical heritage of the region.
The Habit of Schooling
How the 1870 Forster Education Act marked the start of compulsory education for all.