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The British Museum

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The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures. This collection offers a rich source of inspiration for teachers. Our classroom and visit resources support object-based learning across the curriculum and are designed to meet the varied needs of students from EYFS through to Key Stage 5.

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The British Museum holds in trust for the nation and the world a collection of art and antiquities from ancient and living cultures. This collection offers a rich source of inspiration for teachers. Our classroom and visit resources support object-based learning across the curriculum and are designed to meet the varied needs of students from EYFS through to Key Stage 5.
Shakespeare's influences: Dr John Dee image bank
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Shakespeare's influences: Dr John Dee image bank

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John Dee was an astrologer, mathematician, alchemist and magician. He acted as an astrological and scientific adviser to Elizabeth I and her court and is said to be the inspiration for the character of Prospero in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Explore British Museum objects related to John Dee in this image bank.
Shakespeare and imperial Rome
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Shakespeare and imperial Rome

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This ideas bank provides cross-curricular teaching ideas to help you explore the links between the world of imperial Rome and the work of William Shakespeare. It offers a starting point to learn about the wider influence of the Roman Empire and to consider the lasting impact of classical civilisations.
Shakespeare and ancient Greece
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Shakespeare and ancient Greece

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This ideas bank provides cross-curricular teaching ideas to help you explore the links between the world of ancient Greece and the work of William Shakespeare. It offers a starting point to learn about the wider influence of ancient Greek culture (gods and myths) and to consider the lasting impact of classical civilisations.
Insights into Shakespeare - image bank and notes
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Insights into Shakespeare - image bank and notes

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A sequence of images on Shakespeare’s world, including: * London, where Shakespeare wrote and performed his plays, and the city of Venice in Italy, which was the location in a number of plays; * The ancient world: the inspiration for the plays set in the Classical world and ancient Britain; * The medieval world: the inspiration for the British history plays; * The magical world: a world which interacts with, and has an impact on, the human world in a number of plays. The images can be used to explore different aspects of the world in which Shakespeare lived and how this world influenced his plays. Teaching ideas included.
The Tudors: classroom image bank
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The Tudors: classroom image bank

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This slideshow provides students with visual encounters with the kings and queens of the Tudor dynasty. The accompanying notes contain ideas for teaching the Tudor dynasty and their position as kings and queens.
Roman music
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Roman music

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A guide to the types of musical instruments used by the Romans - from rattles and drums to pipes and lyres.
Moctezuma: Aztec ruler
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Moctezuma: Aztec ruler

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This slideshow can be used in the classroom for sessions on the Aztecs. It includes maps, highlight objects and information about the history of the Aztecs.
Teaching History with 100 Objects -Anglo-Saxon royal rings
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Teaching History with 100 Objects -Anglo-Saxon royal rings

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These rings are linked to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex. The rings help to tell the story of the period of Viking invasion and settlement and the eventual division of England between Wessex and the Danelaw. They also provide an opportunity to examine the peaceful consequences of contact between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects -Viking treasure
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Teaching History with 100 Objects -Viking treasure

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The valuable objects in this hoard were discovered in 2007. They probably belonged to a powerful Viking who accumulated them through raiding and trading connections across Europe and beyond. The hoard helps us understand more about the Vikings' international connections and about their struggle with the Anglo-Saxons for control of England. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects -Wedgwood tea set
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Teaching History with 100 Objects -Wedgwood tea set

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Manufactured by the pottery firm Wedgwood, this tea set is made of unglazed red stoneware with silver mounts and may be associated with Queen Adelaide, wife of William IV. It serves as a good starting point for an enquiry into tea as an example of the interaction of mass production and mass consumption in the context of British imperialism in the nineteenth century. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects -Viking scales and weights
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Teaching History with 100 Objects -Viking scales and weights

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This set of scales and weights probably belonged to a Viking trader. It is likely they were used to weigh out silver, which formed the basis of the Viking economy. The silver could be exchanged for a range of commodities traded by the Vikings as they travelled around Europe and beyond. The objects provide a good opportunity for exploring important aspects of Viking trade. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects - The Standard of Ur
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Teaching History with 100 Objects - The Standard of Ur

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Excavated from the royal tombs of Ur by British archaeologist Leonard Woolley in the 1920s, the Standard of Ur is a box, decorated with images of how an ancient city state was organised. The scenes provide opportunities to explore different aspects of life in an ancient Mesopotamian city, such as banqueting, war, dress and social structure as well as the earliest known image of a wheel in human history. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects -Tombstone of a Roman cavalryman
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Teaching History with 100 Objects -Tombstone of a Roman cavalryman

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The soldier shown on this tombstone came from the region of the present-day Netherlands and belonged to an auxiliary cavalry regiment stationed at Corinium in the west of England. The tombstone offers a good starting point from which to explore the Roman army, the cultural diversity of the Roman army in Britain and the value of tombstones and their inscriptions for finding out about Roman Britain. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects -Thomas Clarkson's campaign chest
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Teaching History with 100 Objects -Thomas Clarkson's campaign chest

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This chest belonged to Thomas Clarkson, a leading British campaigner against the transatlantic slave trade, who helped form the first Abolitionist Committee in 1787. Clarkson filled the chest with evidence to support the campaign. He worked closely with others such as Equiano and Wedgwood and this chest serves as a good starting point for an enquiry into the methods used by those involved in the struggles in Britain and in the Americas that contributed to the abolition of slavery and the slave trade Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects - The State Entry into Delhi
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Teaching History with 100 Objects - The State Entry into Delhi

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This painting by the British artist Roderick MacKenzie (1865 - 1941) sits in a heavy frame inscribed with verses from the Qur'an in Arabic script. This is the second version of the painting. The original commission is in the Victoria Memorial Hall - now a museum - in Kolkata. It shows the Delhi Durbar of 1903, a dazzling state occasion to mark the declaration of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Emperor and Empress of India. Painted from a British perspective, it portrays the dominance of Britain over India. However, this image of British supremacy masks the realities and the often fragile nature of British power at a time when events elsewhere, such as the Boer war, prompted questions about the purpose and nature of British imperial rule. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects - The Roman temple in Bath
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Teaching History with 100 Objects - The Roman temple in Bath

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This large stone carving is from Aquae Sulis, the town that is now modern Bath. It decorated the front of the temple to the goddess Sulis Minerva, which stood near a sacred hot water spring. The carvings on the pediment show a combination of local British and Roman religious imagery and enable discussion of Roman religion and the response of the Romans to beliefs native to the countries they conquered. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.
Teaching History with 100 Objects - Tribute from Nubia
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Teaching History with 100 Objects - Tribute from Nubia

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This wall painting from the tomb of the treasury official Sebekhotep depicts a Nubian diplomatic mission bringing tribute to the Egyptian court. The exchange of gifts between rulers was an important element of ancient diplomacy, allowing nations to display their wealth and generosity at the same time as accessing the commodities they needed. Paintings like this provide a wealth of information about Egypt's economy and its relations with neighbouring lands. Part of the Teaching History with 100 Objects collection from The British Museum.