Nepal’s parallel disaster

The press have reported the traumatic story of a British-born Nepal earthquake survivor, who happens to be an archaeologist. Hayley Saul was trekking in Kathmandu with Emma Waterton, a fellow member of the University of York-based Himalayan Exploration and Archaeological Research Team (HEART) (Saul on left and Waterton on right, above, from the Northampton Echo). … Continue reading Nepal’s parallel disaster

“Refusing to return objects that rightly belong to Aboriginal communities”? Catch up at the back!

I arrived at the press view of the British Museum's new show to meet a small group of friendly protestors. We were on the stairs on the west side of the Reading Room. As I looked at the banners I could see the gateway behind them into the passage that leads to the Parthenon Galleries, and … Continue reading “Refusing to return objects that rightly belong to Aboriginal communities”? Catch up at the back!

New British Archaeology

There’s a lot of treasure in this edition: two unusual Roman graves (in one, scenes on a jug handle are reminiscent of the Georgics, a text by the Roman poet Virgil), and an Anglo-Saxon grave with a gold pendant compared to the best jewellery at Sutton Hoo. There is luxury, too, as we seek out … Continue reading New British Archaeology

As became his birth

At the end of Shakespeare's Richard III, the Earl of Richmond, now effectively king Henry VII, makes a short speech from the battlefield. Looking around at the dead, he says: “Inter their bodies as becomes their births.” Now, after 530 years, that has been done for his royal opponent at Bosworth. The whole thing was … Continue reading As became his birth

Neil MacGregor

We knew he couldn't be there for ever, but still it's a shock to hear Neil MacGregor announce his retirement as director of the British Museum, after one of the most glorious, packed episodes in its long history. He will continue to be busy (above, on left with Ralph Jackson on a chill day at Hadrian's Wall), but who will lead the … Continue reading Neil MacGregor