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Posts by Jennifer Grindley

Late night openings for Terracotta Warriors exhibition

26 June 2018 by Jennifer Grindley

Terracotta Warriors at World Museum. Image © Gareth Jones

Since our landmark exhibition China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors opened in February, we’ve welcomed over 300,000 visitors from across the country and around the world. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of the incredible life-size figures from the burial site of China’s First Emperor. Read more…

China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors in numbers

4 May 2018 by Jennifer Grindley

 

China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang

 

From the tender age  Qin Shi Huang first became king to the enormous terracotta army built to protect him for eternity, we delve into some of the astonishing numbers that make up the story of China’s First Emperor and his world-famous burial site. Read more…

World Book Day: leafing through our collections

1 March 2018 by Jennifer Grindley

For World Book Day, we’re celebrating all things literary. From some of the world’s earliest writing to botanical books that hold precious specimens, explore books and writing in its many forms across World Museum’s diverse collections.

Cuneiform tablet

Cuneiform script is one of the world’s earliest systems of writing and was first developed by the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia around 3500-30000 BC. It’s likely that cuneiform was created not for scripture, literature or letters, but for accountancy. This clay tablet is inscribed with administrative text giving a list of supplies for a possible construction project at a location away from, but near the ancient city of Umma. The inscription reads: [Obverse] 90000 litres of barley (by the measure of) Agade 18000 + 9000 litres of salt 1200 litres of lard 900 small brick moulds [Reverse] 12000 litres of straw (from) Umma Naidmahras the scribe carried it away year 2 month 7.

Codex Fejéváry-Mayer

Dating back to AD 1200-152, the Codex Fejéváry-Mayer is one of the most precious and remarkable artefacts to have survived from the time before Hernán Cortés destroyed the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, in 1521. This sacred or ‘dream’ book is a condensed or ritualised version of reality which deals with fundamental human experiences. It is made from deer hide folded into 23 pages and painted with pictograms rather than words derived from an alphabet. The Codex portrays a ‘map’ of the cosmos, a series of gods, a calendar system known as day counts associated with the maize harvest, and long-distance traders. Aside from its literary and artistic merit, it was used for education and to make assessments of the future.

Book of the Dead

This ancient Egyptian collection of spells was designed to guide the recently deceased through the obstacles of the underworld, ultimately enabling them to achieve eternal life. Almost 200 spells survive, though no one collection contains all of them. The final hurdle was to be judged at the court of Osiris. Here, a person’s heart was removed and weighed by the god Anubis against a feather which represented truth. A light heart meant an honest life and entry to the afterlife. Djedhor’s Book of the Dead can be seen in full for the first time in our Ancient Egypt gallery.

Botanical books

The botany department at World Museum houses an extensive botanical library, with books containing specimens of national and international significance. World Museum’s botany collections are particularly rich in material from some of the pioneer explorations of the world’s flora, dating back to the late 1700s and are still being added to today. Liverpool’s worldwide links as a port are highlighted in the collections which hold a wide geographic spread.

A journey through the Han Dynasty in ten objects

28 February 2018 by Jennifer Grindley

The Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220) was one of the longest surviving Chinese dynasties and rivalled the almost contemporary, but smaller Roman Empire. Following a period of civil war after the succession of Qin Shi Huang’s son in the Qin Dynasty, rebel leader Liu Bang defeated his rivals and became Han Gaozu, the First Emperor of the Western Han Dynasty. Spanning more than 400 years with only minor interruptions, the Dynasty was characterised by significant advances in science, technology, mathematics, astronomy and literature which can still be felt in China today.

Explore this golden age of Chinese history through some of the objects that feature in our China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition:

Read more…

Who was China’s First Emperor?

16 February 2018 by Jennifer Grindley

China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, was born on this day (18 February) in 259 BC – that’s 2,277 years ago! Famed for his army of terracotta warriors built to protect him for eternity, the Emperor is also one of the most controversial figures in history. Seen as a visionary by some and a tyrant by others, his achievements in such a short space of time were nevertheless remarkable and far-reaching. On his birthday, we take a closer look at the life of the man at the heart of our landmark exhibition.  Read more…

China’s First Emperor tickets on sale from Thursday 9 November

3 November 2017 by Jennifer Grindley

Save the date! Tickets for World Museum’s unmissable exhibition, China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors, will go on general sale at 10am on Thursday 9 November.

Showcasing incredible finds from one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries, the exhibition spans almost 1,000 years of Chinese history; from the conflicts and chaos of the Warring States period, to the achievements and legacy of the Qin and Han Dynasties. At the heart of the exhibition is China’s First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, his massive burial site and his world-famous terracotta warriors.

Charioteer © Mr. Ziyu Qiu

Running from 9 February to 28 October 2018, the exhibition will feature more than 180 artefacts from museums across Shaanxi Province in north-west China, many of which have never been seen in the UK before. These spectacular objects shed led on the pursuit of immortality in ancient China, and help us to understand more about everyday life in the country more than two thousand years ago.

Tickets for ‘China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors’ are available to book from 10am on Thursday 9 November, priced from £14.50 for adults, £13.00 for concessions and £5.50 for children aged between 6 and 17 years. Entry to the exhibition is free to children aged 5 years and under.

Can’t wait to get your hands on tickets? New and existing members of National Museums Liverpool will enjoy free, unlimited entry to the exhibition, plus an exclusive online ticket pre-sale period from Monday 6th November.

Discover more about membership benefits and sign up on our website.

Radiocarbon dating World Museum’s collections

4 September 2017 by Jennifer Grindley

Following news that World Museum could be home to some of the oldest human remains from north-west Europe, Dr Emma Pomeroy explains how radiocarbon dating is helping her research:

Radiocarbon dating involves destroying a tiny piece of the object you want to test. Although this will only leave a small trace on the object itself, it’s really important to have a good record of what the teeth and jaw were like. e before they were sampled to preserve them for future research. So on July 8th, we took the teeth and jaw to the Cambridge Biotomography Centre for micro-CT scanning by our colleague, Dr Laura Buck at the University of Cambridge.

Photo (top left) and 3D models of LIVCM 44.28.WE.3, a lower third molar (wisdom tooth), showing what is possible with the microCT output. Upper right: external surface. Lower left: window cut through surface to show inner structure. Lower right: surfaces made transparent to reveal inner structure.

Read more…

Could World Museum have some of the oldest human remains in Europe?

16 August 2017 by Jennifer Grindley

Dr Emma Pomeroy from Liverpool John Moores University reveals all about some exciting discoveries in World Museum’s collections.

We’re excited to announce a new collaborative project led by researchers from the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology at Liverpool John Moores University and World Museum. The project will radiocarbon date five human teeth and part of a jawbone from World Museum’s collections. These all come from the same site that yielded the oldest known human remains from north-west Europe. These teeth and jaw could be important evidence for some of the earliest members of our species in

George Smerdon, site foreman for William Pengelly’s excavations, at the entrance to Kent’s Cavern in 1890. Photo from the British Geological Surve

the UK.
Read more…

Days out for dads

15 June 2017 by Jennifer Grindley

Looking for inspiration for a fun day out this Father’s Day? We have plenty to keep dads happy and the whole family entertained at our museums and galleries.

Here’s our top five things to do this Sunday:

Read more…

Gardens in Ancient Egypt

13 April 2017 by Jennifer Grindley

Basket containing six persea fruits, Middle Kingdom, from Lahun.

When you imagine life in ancient Egypt, gardens probably don’t automatically spring to mind. Marion Servat-Fredericq from our Antiquities team explores the important role they played.

While photographing Egyptian objects for our new online database, I came across the remains of ancient Egyptian fruit which were left in tombs as funerary offerings for the deceased: pomegranates, grapes, figs, dates, persea fruit, dom palm fruit, but also barley, wheat and even lentil seeds! I was amazed Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.