Part One: The hunt for our origins
Follow in the footsteps of the great archaeologists, relic hunters and explorers who acquired the treasures of the British Museum, and learn about their adventures and the hazards they braved to make their astounding discoveries.
You’ll unlock the secrets of the British Museum’s extraordinary collection with a qualified archaeologist, tracing humanity's journey from the Stone Age to the modern age. You’ll get to grips with the history of human civilisation, exploring our earliest origins in Africa, the first civilisations in Mesopotamia and the first cities, and the great empires of Egypt, Assyria, Greece and Rome, and what happened after they collapsed.
Along the way, you'll tour the British Museum's most famous galleries, including Ancient Egypt and Assyria, Ancient Greece and Rome, the Vikings and the Aztecs, discovering world-famous artefacts such as the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon Marbles and the Lewis Chessmen.
You'll also have some fun learning to play one of the world's most ancient board games, The Royal Game of Ur, whose rules were deciphered by British Museum scholars.
Part Two: The science of archaeology
After lunch you'll get down to finding out how we know what we know. You’ll hear about the geniuses who decoded ancient languages such as Egyptian hieroglyphs and Sumerian cuneiform, the world's earliest written language. You'll learn the basics in reading these writing systems and even get to try your hand at writing your name in Egyptian hieroglyphs. You’ll even get to look at some ancient languages that have not yet been deciphered and try to come up with ideas of how they might be translated.
You’ll then get to learn about some of the science behind archaeology, finding out how ancient objects are dated, how ancient sites come to be buried in the first place and puzzling over some of the mysteries of the ancient world that still elude us.
Your guide will be a qualified archaeologist.
Gain a deeper understanding of world history.
See the greatest collection of ancient treasures ever assembled under one roof.
Learn about the science of archaeology, how we date things and what still remains a mystery.
Learn to decipher ancient scripts, such as Egyptian hieroglyphs and Sumerian cuneiform.
Play the world’s most ancient board game.
What to bring:
Comfortable shoes as the museum is huge and you'll be walking all over it.
Pencil and paper for practising hieroglyphs and cuneiform.
Money for lunch or a packed lunch; the museum has several cafes and a pizzeria but they are often crowded at weekends, so you might prefer to bring you own food.
* Prices subject to a 5% booking fee.
Wonders of Civilisation:
A crash course in archaeology at the British Museum
Spend the day exploring the world's greatest museum with a qualified archaeologist. Bring out your inner
Indiana Jones on a great day out for families, history buffs and the intellectually curious.
Itinerary: Tour of the British Museum | Ancient board games | Break for lunch |
Learn the science of archaeology | Hieroglyphs and more...
Prices*: £40 Adults | £30 Students & Seniors (18-21 or over 65) | £20 Children | Free under 5 years' old
Runs Sundays & Tuesdays from 10 am to 3.30 pm (approximately) with a break for lunch
Meets at Russel Square tube station