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…
27 April 2018 by Lisa Middleton
This week, National Museums Liverpool is taking part in a worldwide celebration of culture through #MuseumWeek on social media. Today, the focus is on the impact cultural venues can have on the lives of children and the importance of stimulating their imaginations through art, history and culture.
World Museum is currently home to an exhibition of one of the most fascinating archaeological discoveries in the world – the Terracotta Warriors. The unmissable ‘China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors’ exhibition features the spectacular warriors from the tomb of China’s First Emperor, created more than 2,000 years ago. The exhibition features child-friendly labels with questions and tasks for kids to get involved in, and there is an exciting programme of sessions developed just for schools.
Schoolchildren can enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity to see one of most astonishing historical discoveries up close at World Museum, through its ‘World of the Warriors’ sessions. This is a unique chance for school groups to experience the treasures of ancient China, at an exclusive, reduced rate schools only morning, from just £70. Choose a visit to the exhibition or combine with one of two workshops for up to 30 pupils.
The Rise of the Warriors, an immersive, story-based performance (key stages 1 and 2), will see actors take students back in time. They will hunt for the secret to everlasting life, escape being captured by the First Emperor of China, and witness the wonders of his terracotta warriors coming to life in this exciting and interactive theatrical experience.
The Tiger of Qin archaeology workshop (key stage 2) will introduce pupils to the archaeological site from which the Terracotta Army came, explaining their discovery in 1974 and how they were excavated. Taking on the role of junior archaeologists pupils will explore key themes using our handling objects. These themes investigate what made Emperor Qin’s real army so powerful, the innovations he introduced, his legacy and what can we learn from the ancient buried tomb goods.
Find out more about available dates and times to make your booking, plus class resources here
Discover more about Museum Week here or join in today’s hashtag on social media #kidsMW!
As Liverpool prepares itself for the annual Grand National Festival, our landmark 2018 exhibition China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors at World Museum will soon receive some exciting new additions! The Golden Horse of Maoling and other items from China’s Han Dynasty go on display in the exhibition from today, Wednesday 11 April, until the end of the exhibition’s run on 28 October 2018. Read more…
16 March 2018 by Eleanor Webster
Since our China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors exhibition opened at World Museum, visitors have hailed the exhibition as a ‘once in-a-lifetime experience’. The exhibition not only showcases a number of objects which have never been seen before in the UK, but it is also just the third time that the terracotta warriors have been on show in the UK – and the first time they have come to Liverpool – since their discovery in 1974.
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 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.
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.
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.
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:
22 February 2018 by Chrissy Partheni
Roman religion, especially during early Imperial times, was to a great extent formal and public, with organised rituals and hierarchies of divinity and priesthood. But there were also popular cults and informal religious practices and beliefs, like the ones represented in our collection of magical gem stones. Read more…
One of my favourite parts of being a curator is the detective work done in storerooms, archives and libraries. I really enjoy making a match between an object and an archive reference. This is incredibly useful when you’re curating a collection that was devastated by a fire in the Second World War. Many objects salvaged from the ruins of the museum were no longer marked with an accession number – the unique number that links object with documentation. Objects were reassigned new numbers but they had lost their ‘identity’. Without the original number we can’t easily identify an object in the archives that record its history. Their ‘biography’ was stripped away by the fire. We don’t know who donated it to the museum or where and when it was excavated. Sadly, without that background story, it becomes a little bit less of an object. Read more…