BBC CIVILISATIONS, is an epic nine part series spanning 31 countries on six continents, and covering more than 500 works of art. The three presenters, Mary Beard, Simon Schama and David Olusoga explore humanity's desire to create.
One of the themes brought out in the BBC series Civilisations is how we look at art. In programme two Mary Beard explores that theme in relation to some of the earliest images of the human body in the world. Included in this episode is footage of some of the objects from our collection: two Greek vases, and encaustic portraits taken from their original context in ancient Egyptian coffins (partly because they seemed much more appealing out of their perhaps macabre mummy casing).
A special display in Gallery 21, shows how these objects relate to the Civilisations theme, and suggests ways in which the theme can be explored throughout the galleries of Antiquity in the Museum. The display runs until Sunday 6 May.
It is now possible watch the series on BBC iPlayer and to explore the tales of some of the museum's treasures and experience the objects in 3-D with the new BBC AR (augmented reality) app, developed with the expertise of BBC Research and Development.
Features of the BBC app will include:
X-ray - see through or inside an object, such as through a sarcophagus to the mummy within; Restoration - rub through the layers of history, bringing lustre to a metal chalice or colour to a faded sculpture; Navigation - browse the exhibition geographically using an AR globe, or thematically via the themes of the series.