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A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum explored the history of humanity – how we have shaped the world, and how the world has shaped us.

From stone to gold, clay to plastic, the exhibition traced the past through objects people have made, including the famous Lewis chessmen and the extraordinary bronze head of Caesar Augustus.

A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum was previously on show at the National Museum of Australia from 9 September 2016 until 29 January 2017.

A History of the World in 100 Objects audio series

Listen to expert presenters help make sense of two million years of human history and share the story behind some of the key objects from the exhibition.

Wi-fi prototype

As host venue, the National Museum was invited to select a 101st object to mark a point on Australia’s journey through history.

Media launch

A behind the scenes glimpse of the 8 September 2016 media launch with National Museum Director Dr Mathew Trinca and British Museum Curator Belinda Crerar.

Media launch 1:38

MATHEW TRINCA: I say this really honestly when I say A History of the World in 100 Objects is an exhibition like no other. Its story is really our story – the story of us – and it represents human experience over a vast swathe of two million years.

BELINDA CRERAR: What really makes this exhibition unique is that it is a history told directly through objects and this for me is really special. What I find really fascinating about this exhibition is it’s through the objects themselves that we can access the concerns and the thoughts of societies who made them; the people who created them.

Media releases


The presentation of this exhibition was a collaboration between the British Museum, the Western Australian Museum and the National Museum of Australia.

The exhibition A History of the World in 100 Objects was supported by the Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance (AGIEI) Program. This program provides funding for the purchase of insurance for significant cultural exhibitions. Without AGIEI, the high cost of insuring significant cultural items would prohibit this major exhibition from touring to Australia.

The British MuseumWestern Australian MuseumCBR / Visit Canberra, Presenting PartnerAustralian Government International Exhibitions Insurance ProgramQT CanberraABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)FoxtelPrime 7Singapore Airlines, Singapore Airlines Cargo Exhibition Partner

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