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Pilot ended 13th June 2018
The Head of Augustus trailer
The Head of Augustus
The story of how a decapitated bronze head of a great Roman emperor was perfectly preserved under desert sands for centuries because of an insult by an invading army, and why its discovery is linked with Liverpool.

The Inside Story

What's this project about and what is the technology behind it?

Can you sum up the project?

Why was a statue beheaded and buried under the steps of a temple in modern-day Sudan? How did it come to be discovered by a Liverpool professor, having lain buried for centuries?

In 1910, the perfectly-preserved head of a Roman emperor’s statue was discovered by a University of Liverpool archaeologist. Its piercing eyes provide us with a vivid glimpse of great civilisations.

This is the story of why the Head of Augustus might have endured such an inglorious fate and how it was unearthed for us to experience today.

It is one of a series of interactive timelines created as part of the Civilisations Festival, which is a ground-breaking collaboration between the BBC and museums, galleries, libraries and archives across the UK.

Why have we created these stories for you? 

Our team is called Rewind and we make new things from the BBC’s vast archive and experiment with new tools and formats. We recently got the opportunity to work with museums and galleries as part of the Civilisations Festival, and they've helped us make use of our new storytelling tool – Canvas. Curators selected objects from their collections and we paired those to our archive content to make interactive timelines.  The best bit is that these museums and galleries got to create the stories that they wanted to tell!

Why does your feedback matter?

Each story has a different style. Some sections are purely text, some have videos; there are looping videos in the background; and there are gallery sections where images and text expand.

We want to know what you feel works and what doesn’t. Does each technique add to the experience or are they too distracting? Are the stories too long or do they leave you wanting more?

Essentially we want to know if you enjoyed the experience. We think this storytelling tool has potential, and the feedback that you provide could shape how we use it next.

What next?

More stories and more ways to tell them. We’ve been showing this to teams across the BBC, and we hope that these stories might spark some fresh ideas.

The Civilisations Festival has introduced us to cultural institutions from across the UK. By working with them on these stories we’re forming brilliant relationships that we hope will lead to future projects. 

The Head of Augustus