Friday, June 22, 2007

British Museum revamps Prehistory section
This is such good news - and not before time, either. The BM (London, U.K.) has some fabulous prehistoric artefacts, from the mundane to the extraordinary, and their storage facility contains staggering quantities of prehistoric items. It is terrific that their value is to be highlighted in an appropriate way.

There is no denying the beauty of prehistoric artefacts. You can disguise it, though, by displaying hundreds of arrowheads in cases that don't seem to have been dusted since the 1950s - which is why this new set of modern and gracious galleries comes as a joy. The real test of the dynamic new British Museum is how well it does its basic job of displaying the ancient past. Very well, is the answer from looking at this new suite. It's simple and smart, so as you walk along, you perceive changing time as a succession of colours: the neolithic becomes a room full of widely spaced white objects, the Bronze Age oxidised green, the Iron Age warm, earthy brown.

This is a satisfyingly long article by Jonathan Jones, which looks at many aspects of British prehistory and how it has been perceived, and includes a description of Lindow Man, the bog sacrifice.

Details for visitors to the museum can be found at the British Museum website.