Headdresses were vital in the appearance of the #Scythians. Women wore impressive headdresses that were bolstered by a towering spike-like hairstyle. These hairpins were found in Scythian burial mounds, and were carved from wood. They were often covered in metal foils, like the one on the right here, and were inserted into the hair along with other animal-shaped accessories.
The Scythians have galloped into the Museum for our five-star exhibition – buy tickets using the link in our bio!
Do you have a favourite view in the Museum? This brilliant photo of a sunny Great Court was taken by @kmg1177. You can make out the lettering around the top of the Reading Room – it commemorates Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opening the Great Court in 2000. You can share your photographs with us by tagging the location. #regram#repost#BritishMuseum#London#GreatCourt#TheQueen#UK#museum
‘In the autumn, when the rice fields are tall, there’s a sound that it makes in the wind… those things inspire me to this day’
Artist Hosono Hitomi was born in Tajimi, in the Gifu Prefecture of Japan – a place famous for its pottery since ancient times. Her ‘Large Feather Leaves Bowl’ features one thousand leaves, which she has made individually and painstakingly attached by hand. The intricate leaves on the outside and inside appear to be rustling in the wind, drawing on memories of her mother’s garden and family rice fields in Japan, as well as her knowledge of nature in London where she now lives. In total this object took one year to complete – the design and modelling a month, another month for the construction and then a further 6 months for the object to dry. Finally the work was then fired.
Follow the link in our bio to see how the artist creates her beautiful porcelain works in a new video.
‘I hope through this work we can appreciate the many possibilities that porcelain is able to give us’
Inspired by her love of nature, Japanese artist Hosono Hitomi manipulates the solid material of porcelain into an object that has a sense of movement and sound. She uses sprig moulds to create detailed reliefs of leaves and flowers, which then become the centrepiece of her works.
Find out more about the artist’s exquisite porcelain works in our new video – follow the link in our bio to watch it in full.
This incredible porcelain bowl took Japanese artist Hosono Hitomi one year to complete. Creating the basic form on a wheel, she then painstakingly attached by hand and chopsticks 1,000 individual leaves, giving the impression that the leaves are gently rustling in the wind 🍃
Swipe to see the intricate detail of this object. You can also find out more about the artist’s inspiration and process in a new video – follow the link in our bio to watch it.
Here is the mummy board of Henutmehyt. It was placed directly over the mummified body, inside the inner coffin. It has inlaid eyes and still has the original linen backing material, which was once purple. The vertical columns and horizontal bands of decoration mimic the arrangement of the wrappings on the mummy. Henutmehyt was a wealthy woman who lived in ancient Egypt during the 19th Dynasty (about 1295–1186 BC). Find out more about ancient Egyptian mummies in Rooms 62 and 63 – link in bio. #AncientEgypt#Egyptology#Egypt#mummy#mummies#hieroglyphics#EgyptianMummies#gold
The inner coffin of Henutmehyt shows she was a wealthy woman – it’s almost entirely covered in gold leaf. The crossed arms and inscriptions emphasise her identification with the god Osiris – she wanted to be resurrected like him. Below the arms is a kneeling figure of the sky-goddess Nut with her wings outstretched, protecting the deceased. Henutmehyt lived in ancient Egypt during the 19th Dynasty (about 1295–1186 BC). Learn more about the Egyptian afterlife in Rooms 62 and 63 – more information via the link our bio. #AncientEgypt#Egyptology#Egypt#mummy#mummies#hieroglyphics#EgyptianMummies#gold
This is the outer coffin of Henutmehyt, a woman who lived in ancient Egypt during the 19th Dynasty (about 1295–1186 BC). It was believed the finely decorated coffin would provide the spirit with a substitute body if the mummy perished. It’s covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions and painted images of gods, and is made from cedarwood. You can learn more about ancient Egyptian mummies in Rooms 62 and 63 – find out more via the link in our bio. #AncientEgypt#Egyptology#Egypt#mummy#mummies#hieroglyphics#EgyptianMummies#gold
This stela can be found at the ancient site of Quiriguá in Guatemala. Standing over 7.6m above ground (and a couple of metres below) it is one of the largest stela ever erected by the Maya, and may even be the largest free-standing carved stone monument in the ancient Americas!
It was commissioned by the site's most famous ruler, K'ahk' Tiliw Chan Yopaat, and dedicated in 771 AD. Two sides show the ruler in full regalia, with an enormous feathered headdress. The other two tell the royal history of the site – from the crowning of K'ahk' Tiliw to his victorious battle against a neighbouring kingdom.
This important collection of casts and photographs were created during archaeological research at world-famous Maya sites in the 19th century, led by Alfred Percival Maudslay. He created over 500 casts and 800 photographs of the enormous sculptures and inscriptions he encountered in Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico.
Through our new partnership with @googleartsculture you can now explore 3D scans of the casts and ultra-high resolution photographs to see how these sites have changed over 130 years. Follow the link in our bio to discover more about the #MayaHeritage project, including immersive #virtualreality tours and online exhibitions.
In the 19th century, archaeologist Alfred Percival Maudslay created 500 casts and over 800 photographs documenting world-famous Maya sites in Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. Over a decade and multiple trips to the Maya area, Maudslay recorded the often enormous ancient sculptures he encountered using the most up-to-date technologies available to him – dry plate photography and paper & plaster moulding techniques.
We are now digitally preserving this incredible collection in partnership with @googleartsculture, including making Maudslay’s photos available at ultra-high resolution, allowing for almost unlimited zoom.
Follow the link in our bio to learn more about this new #MayaHeritage project.
This gold and ivory instrument is a qibla indicator – a device that gives the direction of Mecca. One of Islam’s five pillars is to pray towards the holy city of Mecca, an act shared daily by Muslims across the world. Made in the 1580s, this instrument has a compass and a sundial that can be used together to determine the time and direction of prayer. It was designed to work at 41 degrees north – the same latitude as Istanbul. It’s finely detailed, is around 11cm across and has a depiction of the Ka’ba in the centre.
You can see this object and many more that trace our shared stories of faith in our five-star #LivingWithTheGods exhibition – link in bio. #Qibla#Islam#prayer#Mecca#gold#faith#belief#exhibition#BritishMuseum
This is a ‘Kirchenpelz’, or ‘church fur’, made in the late 19th century in Transylvania (now in modern-day Romania). It’s made from sheepskin, and is decorated with hand-sewn leather appliqué and brightly coloured embroidery. This coat was more than a fashion item – it was made for the German-speaking Saxon community in Transylvania, and identified the wearer as a member of the Lutheran Church. This coat proclaimed an identity, and was worn specifically for going to church.
Trace the story of human belief in our special #LivingWithTheGods exhibition – find out more via the link in our bio. #Transylvania#belief#Lutheran#church#fashion#identity#coat#exhibition#BritishMuseum
For Hindus the river Ganges is sacred – to bathe in its waters is not just to prepare to meet the divine, but already to be embraced by it. The river brings salvation to the dead and is used to address ancestors and make offerings. In this painting, King Harischandra is shown bathing in the Ganges with his wife and son at Kashi, now called Varanasi. The blue figure is a messenger, reminding Harischandra of his promise to give away his kingdom. The king kept his promise and was rewarded with a place in heaven.
Explore objects of belief from around the world and across time in our #LivingWithTheGods exhibition – book tickets via the link in our bio.
This is one of the last lithograph prints made by French artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. It was intended to be part of a series that focused on horse racing, but the artist’s health meant the series was never completed. This dynamic scene shows two jockeys approaching a bend in the track – horse racing was a popular subject among other French artists of the late 19th century, including Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet. Toulouse-Lautrec also made more realistic studies of horses and riders – swipe to see some examples of these prints. #ToulouseLautrec#HenrideToulouseLautrec#Paris#France#French#art#print#prints#lithograph#horse#jockey#horses#horseracing