Ancient Near Eastern Metal Production
A map showing the major sites of metal production in the Ancient Near East, including Egypt, Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Persia, and the Indus Valley Civilization.
Winged Ibex Vessel Handle
This winged ibex was a handle for a metal amphora-shaped vessel, made in the 4th century BCE in Achaemenid Persia. This high level of detail was achieved through the use of lost-wax technique. It has been suggested that this piece of art...
The Armour of an English Medieval Knight
English medieval knights wore metal armour of iron or steel to protect themselves from archers and the long swords of opponents. From the 9th century CE, chain mail suits gave protection and freedom of movement until solid plate armour became...
Copper in Antiquity
Copper was probably the first metal used by ancient cultures, and the oldest artefacts made with it date to the Neolithic period. The shiny red-brown metal was used for jewellery, tools, sculpture, bells, vessels, lamps, amulets, and death...
Two P-shape bronze fibulae. 2nd-3rd century CE. Provenance unknown. (private collection)
Silver in Antiquity
Silver had great value and aesthetic appeal in many ancient cultures where it was used to make jewellery, tableware, figurines, ritual objects and rough-cut pieces known as hacksilver which could be used in trade or to store wealth. The metal...
Ancient Greek Coinage
The coinage of ancient Greece has given us some of the most recognisable images from antiquity as they were stamped with designs to proudly declare the identity of the city which minted them and guarantee their value. One of the great archaeological...
Metal Armlet, Hausaland
A metal armlet or anklet from Hausaland, northern Nigeria. Hausaland was composed of a group of city-states which flourished from the 15th to 18th century CE. Length: 16 cm. (British Museum, London)
Foreign Influences & Imported Luxuries in Thrace
Defining Thracian art is a difficult task due to the fact that what we call today Thrace was never a single unified state but, rather, a collection of many independent communities (or tribes) who formed both alliances and rivalries with each...
Beyond El Dorado: From wax to metal: goldmaking techniques of the ancient Colombians
From wax to metal (de la cera al metal) Goldmaking techniques of the ancient Colombians Created for the exhibition Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia at the British Museum, Organised with Museo del Oro, 17 October 2013...