Ancient history

Map of the late Bronze Age collapse, c. 1200 BC
The core territory of 15th century BCE Assyria, with its two major cities Assur and Nineveh, was upstream of Babylonia and downstream of the states of Mitanni and Hatti.
The Persian Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent, c. 500 BC
Extent of Iranian influence circa 170 BCE, with the Parthian Empire (mostly speaking Western Iranian languages) in red and other areas dominated by Scythia (mostly Eastern Iranian) in orange.
Largest expansion of Kingdom of Armenia under Tigranes the Great
The Iron Age Kingdom of Israel (blue) and Kingdom of Judah (yellow)
Khafre's Pyramid (4th dynasty) and Great Sphinx of Giza (c. 2500 BC or perhaps earlier)
Pharaohs of Nubia
The Ezana Stone records negus Ezana's conversion to Christianity and conquests of his neighbors.
Nok sculpture of a seated person
Standing Greek-Buddha, Gandhara, 1st century AD.
A political map of the Mauryan Empire, including notable cities, such as the capital Pataliputra, and site of the Buddha's enlightenment.
Oracle bone script from the Shang dynasty
Terracotta Warriors from the time of Qin Shi Huang
The Chinese Han dynasty dominated the East Asia region at the beginning of the first millennium AD
Gold stag with eagle's head, and ten more heads in the antlers. Inspired by Siberian Altai mountain art, possibly Pazyryk, unearthed at Nalinggaotu, Shenmu County, near Xi'an, China. Possibly from Huns of the Northern Chinese prairie. 4th to 3rd centuries BC, or Han Dynasty period. Shaanxi History Museum.
The ruins of Mesoamerican city Teotihuacan
The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, located on the Acropolis in Athens
Roman Empire 117 CE. The Senatorial provinces were acquired first under the Roman Republic and were under the Roman Senate's control; the Imperial provinces were controlled directly by the Roman emperor.
The Age of Migrations in Europe was deeply detrimental to the late Roman Empire.
Roman cast terracotta of ram-horned Jupiter Ammon, a form of Zeus, 1st century AD. Gods were sometimes borrowed between civilisations and adapted to local conditions.
The Pont du Gard, a Roman aqueduct in France.

Aggregate of past events from the beginning of writing and recorded human history and extending as far as late antiquity.

- Ancient history

500 related topics


Human history

Narrative of humanity's past.

World population, 10,000 BCE – 2,000 CE (vertical population scale is logarithmic)
Cave painting, Lascaux, France, c. 15,000 BCE
Monumental Cuneiform inscription, Sumer, Mesopotamia, 26th century BCE
Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Buddha
Persepolis, Achaemenid Empire, 6th century BCE
Pillar erected by India's Maurya Emperor Ashoka
Obelisk of Axum, Ethiopia
Maya observatory, Chichen Itza, Mexico
The Pantheon in Rome, Italy, originally a Roman temple, now a Catholic church
University of Timbuktu, Mali
Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul, is among the most recognizable symbols of the Byzantine civilization.
Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia, founded 670 CE
Crusader Krak des Chevaliers, Syria
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City.
Notre-Dame de Paris in Paris, France: is among the most recognizable symbols of the civilization of Christendom.
A brass "Benin Bronze" from Nigeria
Chennakesava Temple, Belur, India
Battle during 1281 Mongol invasion of Japan
Angkor Wat temple, Cambodia, early 12th century
Moai, Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Machu Picchu, Inca Empire, Peru
Gutenberg Bible, ca. 1450, produced using movable type
Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian Man (c. 1490), Renaissance Italy
1570 world map, showing Europeans' discoveries
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), Turkey
Taj Mahal, Mughal Empire, India
Ming dynasty section, Great Wall of China
Watt's steam engine powered the Industrial Revolution.
Empires of the world in 1898
The first airplane, the Wright Flyer, flew, 1903.
World War I trench warfare
Atomic bombings: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, 1945
Civilians (here, Mỹ Lai, Vietnam, 1968) suffered greatly in 20th-century wars.
Last Moon landing: Apollo 17 (1972)
China urbanized rapidly in the 21st century (Shanghai pictured).

With civilizations flourishing, ancient history ("Antiquity," including the Classical Age and Golden Age of India, up to about 500 CE) saw the rise and fall of empires.

Recorded history

Historical narrative which is based on a written record or other documented communication.

Linear A etched on tablets found in Akrotiri, Santorini
Palenque Glyphs that has a total of 92 glyphs on the tablet
Sumerian inscription in monumental archaic style, c. 26th century BCE

For broader world history, recorded history begins with the accounts of the ancient world around the 4th millennium BCE, and it coincides with the invention of writing.


Continent, also recognised as a part of Eurasia, located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Statue representing Europa at Palazzo Ferreria, in Valletta, Malta
First map of the world according to Anaximander (6th century BC)
A medieval T and O map printed by Günther Zainer in 1472, showing the three continents as domains of the sons of Noah — Asia to Sem (Shem), Europe to Iafeth (Japheth) and Africa to Cham (Ham)
A New Map of Europe According to the Newest Observations (1721) by Hermann Moll draws the eastern boundary of Europe along the Don River flowing south-west and the Tobol, Irtysh and Ob rivers flowing north
1916 political map of Europe showing most of Moll's waterways replaced by von Strahlenberg's Ural Mountains and Freshfield's Caucasus Crest, land features of a type that normally defines a subcontinent
Paleolithic cave paintings from Lascaux in France ( 15,000 BCE)
Stonehenge in the United Kingdom (Late Neolithic from 3000 to 2000 BCE).
The Parthenon in Athens (432 BCE)
Animation showing the growth and division of the Roman Empire (years CE)
Viking raids and division of the Frankish Empire at the Treaty of Verdun in 843
The maritime republics of medieval Italy reestablished contacts between Europe, Asia and Africa with extensive trade networks and colonies across the Mediterranean, and had an essential role in the Crusades.
Tancred of Sicily and Philip II of France, during the Third Crusade (1189–1192)
The sacking of Suzdal by Batu Khan in 1238, during the Mongol invasion of Europe.
The School of Athens by Raphael (1511): Contemporaries, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci (centre), are portrayed as classical scholars of the Renaissance.
Habsburg dominions in the centuries following their partition by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The principal military base of Philip II in Europe was the Spanish road stretching from the Netherlands to the Duchy of Milan.
The national boundaries within Europe set by the Congress of Vienna
Marshall's Temple Works (1840), the Industrial Revolution started in Great Britain
Map of European colonial empires throughout the world in 1914.
Map depicting the military alliances of World War I in 1914–1918
Serbian war efforts (1914–1918) cost the country one quarter of its population.
Nazi Germany began a devastating World War II in Europe by its leader, Adolf Hitler. Here Hitler, on the right, with his closest ally, the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini, in 1940
Bombed and burned-out buildings in Hamburg, 1944/45
The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference in 1945; seated (from the left): Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin
The Schuman Declaration led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community. It began the integration process of the European Union (9 May 1950, at the French Foreign Ministry).
Flag of Europe, adopted by the Council of Europe in 1955 as the flag for the whole of Europe
Map of populous Europe and surrounding regions showing physical, political and population characteristics, as per 2018
Köppen-Geiger climate classification map for Europe.
The Volga, as seen in Yaroslavl. It flows from Central Russia and into the Caspian Sea and is the longest river in Europe.
Mount Elbrus in Southern Russia, is the highest mountain in Europe.
Europa Point as seen from the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates the continents of Europe and Africa, also being between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
The Danube, as seen in Đerdap National Park. It flows from the Black Forest and into the Black Sea and is the second-longest river in Europe, which also passes through the largest number of countries in the world at 10.
Sutjeska National Park contains Perućica, which is one of the last remaining primeval forests in Europe.
Land use map of Europe with arable farmland (yellow), forest (dark green), pasture (light green) and tundra, or bogs, in the north (dark yellow)
Floristic regions of Europe and neighbouring areas, according to Wolfgang Frey and Rainer Lösch
Biogeographic regions of Europe and bordering regions
A brown bear near the Russian border in the forests of Kainuu, Finland
Once roaming the great temperate forests of Eurasia, European bison now live in nature preserves in Białowieża Forest, on the border between Poland and Belarus.
Fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Eurozone (blue colour)
One of Kosovo's main economical sources is mining, because it has large reserves of lead, zinc, silver, nickel, cobalt, copper, iron and bauxite. Miners at the Trepča Mines in Mitrovica, Kosovo in 2011.
Population growth in and around Europe in 2021
Map purportedly displaying the European continent split along cultural and state borders as proposed by the German organization Ständiger Ausschuss für geographische Namen (StAGN).
Tallinn, the medieval capital of Estonia in the Baltic States, is a mixture of Western and Eastern architectural cultures.
Surficial geology of Europe

The fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of Europe's ancient history, and the beginning of the Middle Ages.


The extent of the Babylonian Empire at the start and end of Hammurabi's reign, located in what today is modern day Iraq
Hammurabi (standing), depicted as receiving his royal insignia from Shamash (or possibly Marduk). Hammurabi holds his hands over his mouth as a sign of prayer (relief on the upper part of the stele of Hammurabi's code of laws).
Cylinder seal, ca. 18th–17th century BC. Babylonia
The extent of the Babylonian Empire during the Kassite dynasty
Map of Mesopotamia c. 1450 BC
Prism of Sennacherib (705–681 BC), containing records of his military campaigns, culminating with Babylon's destruction. Exhibited at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
Babylonian prisoners under the surveillance of an Assyrian guard, reign of Ashurbanipal 668-630 BC, Nineveh, British Museum ME 124788
The Neo-Babylonian Empire
Panorama view of the reconstructed Southern Palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, 6th century BC, Babylon, Iraq
Stele of Nabonidus exhibited in the British Museum. The king is shown praying to the Moon, the Sun and Venus and is depicted as being the closest to the Moon.
Babylonian soldier of the Achaemenid army, circa 480 BC. Relief of the tomb of Xerxes I.
Old Babylonian Cylinder Seal, hematite. The king makes an animal offering to Shamash. This seal was probably made in a workshop at Sippar.
Man and woman, Old-Babylonian fired clay plaque from Southern Mesopotamia. Sulaymaniyah museum, Sulaymaniyah. Iraq
Medical recipe concerning poisoning. Terracotta tablet, from Nippur, Iraq, 18th century BC. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul

Babylonia (Akkadian:, māt Akkadī) was an ancient Akkadian-speaking state and cultural area based in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and parts of Syria.


Iranian ethnic group who comprise over half of the population of Iran.

Ancient Persian attire worn by soldiers and a nobleman. The History of Costume by Braun & Scheider (1861–1880).
Map of the Achaemenid Empire at its greatest extent.
Ancient Persian and Greek soldiers as depicted on a color reconstruction of the 4th-century BC Alexander Sarcophagus.
A bas-relief at Naqsh-e Rustam depicting the victory of Sasanian ruler Shapur I over Roman ruler Valerian and Philip the Arab.
Old Persian inscribed in cuneiform on the Behistun Inscription.
A Persian carpet kept at the Louvre.
Dancers and musical instrument players depicted on a Sasanian silver bowl from the 5th-7th century AD.
5th-century BC Achaemenid gold vessels. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
Ancient Iranian goddess Anahita depicted on a Sasanian silver vessel. Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland.
Sasanian marble bust. National Museum of Iran, Tehran.
17th-century Persian potteries from Isfahan. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto.
Ruins of the Tachara, Persepolis.
Tomb of Cyrus, Pasargadae.
The Sasanian reliefs at Taq-e Bostan.
Shapur-Khwast Castle, Khorramabad.
Shah Square, Isfahan.
Eram Garden, Shiraz.
Tomb of Hafez, Shiraz.
Shazdeh Garden, Kerman.

Together with their compatriot allies, they established and ruled some of the world's most powerful empires that are well-recognized for their massive cultural, political, and social influence, which covered much of the territory and population of the ancient world.


Type of cart driven by a charioteer, usually using horses to provide rapid motive power.

Reconstructed Roman chariot drawn by horses.
Approximate historical map of the spread of the spoke-wheeled chariot, 2000–500 BCE
Han dynasty bronze models of cavalry and chariots
The area of the spoke-wheeled chariot finds within the Sintashta-Petrovka Proto-Indo-Iranian culture is indicated in purple.
Hittite chariot (drawing of an Egyptian relief)
Krishna Arjun Rath Monument at Brahma Sarovar. Bronze statue, by Ram V. and Anal R. Sutar, 2008.
Chariot detail at Airavatesvara Temple built by Rajaraja Chola II of the Chola Empire in the 12th century CE.
Stone chariot at Hampi, built under the Vijayanagara Empire, early 16th century CE.
A golden chariot made during Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BCE).
Relief of early war wagons on the Standard of Ur, c. 2500 BCE
Ramses II fighting from a chariot at the Battle of Kadesh with two archers, one with the reins tied around the waist to free both hands (relief from Abu Simbel)
The Charioteer of Delphi was dedicated to the god Apollo in 474 BCE by the tyrant of Gela in commemoration of a Pythian racing victory at Delphi.
Chariot, armed warrior and his driver Greece 4th century BCE
Two female charioteers from Tiryns 1200 BCE
A petroglyph in a double burial, c. 1000 BCE (the Nordic Bronze Age)
Detail of the Monteleone Chariot at the Met (c. 530 BCE)
A winner of a Roman chariot race
Fresco depicting an Italic chariot from the Lucanian tomb, 4th century BCE.
A mosaic of the Kasta Tomb in Amphipolis depicting the abduction of Persephone by Pluto, 4th century BCE.
The goddess Nike riding on a two-horse chariot, from an Apulian patera (tray), Magna Graecia, 4th century BCE.
Procession of chariots on a Late Geometric amphora from Athens (c. 720–700 BCE).
Sculpture by Thomas Thornycroft of Boudica and her daughters in her chariot, addressing her troops before the battle.
Procession of chariots and warriors on the Vix krater (c. 510), a vessel of Archaic Greek workmanship found in a Gallic burial.
Modern reconstruction of a Hussite war wagon.
Chariot burial of Zheng
Bronze Chinese charioteer from the Warring States period (403–221 BCE).
Powerful landlord in chariot (Eastern Han, 25–220 CE, Anping County, Hebei).

In ancient Rome and some other ancient Mediterranean civilizations, a biga required two horses, a triga three, and a quadriga four.

Ancient Carthage

Settlement in modern Tunisia that later became a city-state and then an empire.

Carthage and its dependencies in 264 BC
The suicide of Queen Dido, by Claude-Augustin Cayot (1667–1722)
Carthage and its dependencies in 264 BC
Coin from Tarentum, in southern Italy, during the occupation by Hannibal (c. 212–209 BC). ΚΛΗ above, ΣΗΡΑΜ/ΒΟΣ below, nude youth on horseback right, placing a laurel wreath on his horse's head; ΤΑΡΑΣ, Taras riding dolphin left, holding trident in right hand, aphlaston in his left hand.
Eurasia and Africa (c. 323 BC).
Routes taken against Rome and Carthage in the Pyrrhic War (280–275 BC).
Carthage in 323 BC
Benjamin West (1738-1820) - Hamilcar and The Oath of Hannibal
Bardo National Museum Statue of the Carthaginian goddess Tanit, the goddess of motherhood
Hannibal Barca counting the rings of the Roman knights killed at the Battle of Cannae (216 BC), by Sébastien Slodtz (1704). Gardens of the Tuileries, Louvre Museum. Hannibal is regarded as one of the most brilliant military strategists in history.
Former Carthaginian port
Punic mask to exorcise evil spirits

Its extensive mercantile network reached as far as west Asia, west Africa and northern Europe, providing an array of commodities from all over the ancient world, in addition to lucrative exports of agricultural products and manufactured goods.


Region along the Nile river encompassing the area between the first cataract of the Nile (just south of Aswan in southern Egypt) and the confluence of the Blue and White Niles (in Khartoum in central Sudan), or more strictly, Al Dabbah.

"A-Group" style, Nubian pottery, Musee du Louvre
Qustul incense burner, 3200-3000 BC
Kerma style pottery (2500-1500 BC)
11th Dynasty model of Nubian archers in the Egyptian army, from a tomb in Asyut (c. 2130–1991 BC).
Western Deffufa
Daggers of bone and copper, 1750-1450 BCE, Kerma, British Museum EA55442
Mirror. Kerma Period, 1700-1550 BC.
Nubian Prince Heqanefer bringing tribute for King Tutankhamun, 18th dynasty, Tomb of Huy. Circa 1342 – c. 1325 BC
The Turin Papyrus Map, dating to about 1160 BC
Pyramids of Kushite rulers at Nuri
Pharaoh Taharqa of Ancient Egypt's 25th Dynasty. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford UK
Kushite heartland, and Kushite Empire of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, circa 700 BC.
Taharqa's kiosk and column, Karnak temple
Aerial view at Nubian pyramids, Meroe
Apedemak Temple at Naqa
Kušiya soldier of the Achaemenid army, circa 480 BC. Xerxes I tomb relief.
Marble portrait of a Nubian ca. 120–100 BC
Meroitic prince smiting his enemies (early first century AD)
Wall painting from Faras, first half of 11th c CE, National Museum in Warsaw
Nubian terracotta female figurine from the Neolithic period ca. 3500–3100 BC Brooklyn Museum
Nubian king with bow, Buhen Fortress, 1650 BC, Univ. of Chicago Museum
Nubian Tribute Presented to the King, Tomb of Huy MET DT221112
Nubians bringing tribute for King Tut, Tomb of Huy
Temple of Amun, Jebel Barkal
Entrance to Great Enclosure, Musawwarat es-Sufra
Column and elephant – part of temple complex in Musawwarat es-Sufra
Pyramid of Amanishakheto
Jewelry of Kandake Amanishakheto
Copy of relief from Naqa depicting Amanitore (second from left), Natakamani (second from right) and two princes approaching a three-headed Apedemak.
The "Archer King", an unknown king of Meroe, 3rd century BC. National Museum of Sudan.
Bishop Petros, Christian Nubia
The Relief of Gebel Sheikh Suleiman probably shows the victory of an early Pharaoh, possibly Djer, over A-Group Nubians circa 3000 BC.
Now gone Christian Nubian wall painting in the Temple of Kalabsha

It was the seat of one of the earliest civilizations of ancient Africa, the Kerma culture, which lasted from around 2500 BC until its conquest by the New Kingdom of Egypt under Pharaoh Thutmose I around 1500 BC, whose heirs ruled most of Nubia for the next 400 years.

Middle Ages

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted approximately from the 5th to the late 15th centuries, similar to the post-classical period of global history.

The Cross of Mathilde, a crux gemmata made for Mathilde, Abbess of Essen (973–1011), who is shown kneeling before the Virgin and Child in the enamel plaque. The figure of Christ is slightly later. Probably made in Cologne or Essen, the cross demonstrates several medieval techniques: cast figurative sculpture, filigree, enamelling, gem polishing and setting, and the reuse of Classical cameos and engraved gems.
A late Roman sculpture depicting the Tetrarchs, now in Venice, Italy
Barbarian kingdoms and tribes after the end of the Western Roman Empire
A coin of the Ostrogothic leader Theoderic the Great, struck in Milan, Italy, c. AD 491–501
A mosaic showing Justinian with the bishop of Ravenna (Italy), bodyguards, and courtiers.
Reconstruction of an early medieval peasant village in Bavaria
An 11th-century illustration of Gregory the Great dictating to a secretary
Map showing growth of Frankish power from 481 to 814
Charlemagne's palace chapel at Aachen, completed in 805
10th-century Ottonian ivory plaque depicting Christ receiving a church from Otto I
A page from the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created in the British Isles in the late 8th or early 9th century
Medieval French manuscript illustration of the three classes of medieval society: those who prayed (the clergy) those who fought (the knights), and those who worked (the peasantry). The relationship between these classes was governed by feudalism and manorialism. (Li Livres dou Sante, 13th century)
13th-century illustration of a Jew (in pointed Jewish hat) and the Christian Petrus Alphonsi debating
Europe and the Mediterranean Sea in 1190
The Bayeux Tapestry (detail) showing William the Conqueror (centre), his half-brothers Robert, Count of Mortain (right) and Odo, Bishop of Bayeux in the Duchy of Normandy (left)
Krak des Chevaliers was built during the Crusades for the Knights Hospitallers.
A medieval scholar making precise measurements in a 14th-century manuscript illustration
Portrait of Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher by Tommaso da Modena, 1352, the first known depiction of spectacles
The Romanesque Church of Maria Laach, Germany
The Gothic interior of Laon Cathedral, France
Francis of Assisi, depicted by Bonaventura Berlinghieri in 1235, founded the Franciscan Order.
Sénanque Abbey, Gordes, France
Execution of some of the ringleaders of the jacquerie, from a 14th-century manuscript of the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis
Map of Europe in 1360
Joan of Arc in a 15th-century depiction
Guy of Boulogne crowning Pope Gregory XI in a 15th-century miniature from Froissart's Chroniques
Clerics studying astronomy and geometry, French, early 15th century
Agricultural calendar, c. 1470, from a manuscript of Pietro de Crescenzi
February scene from the 15th-century illuminated manuscript Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry
Medieval illustration of the spherical Earth in a 14th-century copy of L'Image du monde

The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation or Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Modern Period.

British Museum

Public museum dedicated to human history, art and culture located in the Bloomsbury area of London.

The Great Court was developed in 2001 and surrounds the original Reading Room.
Sir Hans Sloane
Montagu House, c. 1715
The Rosetta Stone on display in the British Museum in 1874
Entrance ticket to the British Museum, London 3 March 1790
Left to Right: Montagu House, Townley Gallery and Sir Robert Smirke's west wing under construction, July 1828
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus Room, 1920s
The Grenville Library, 1875
Opening of The North Wing, King Edward VII's Galleries, 1914
Sir Leonard Woolley holding the excavated Sumerian Queen's Lyre, 1922
The re-opened Duveen Gallery, 1980
Wide view of the Great Court
The museum's main entrance
The Enlightenment Gallery at museum, which formerly held the King's Library, 2007
Proposed British Museum Extension, 1906
The Reading Room and Great Court roof, 2005
External view of the World Conservation and Exhibition Centre at the museum, 2015
Room 61 – The famous false fresco 'Pond in a Garden' from the Tomb of Nebamun, c. 1350 BC
Room 4 – The Rosetta Stone, key to the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs, 196 BC
Room 4 – Colossal red granite statue of Amenhotep III, 1350 BC
Room 17 – Reconstruction of the Nereid Monument, c. 390 BC
Room 18 – Parthenon marbles from the Acropolis of Athens, 447 BC
Room 21 – Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, mid-4th century BC
Room 9 – Assyrian palace reliefs, Nineveh, 701–681 BC
Room 6 – Pair of Human Headed Winged Lions and reliefs from Nimrud with the Balawat Gates, c. 860 BC
Room 52 – Ancient Iran with the Cyrus Cylinder, considered to be the world's first charter of human rights, 559–530 BC
Gallery 50 – View down the Roman Britain gallery
Gallery 2a – Display case of Renaissance metalware from the Waddesdon Bequest
Room 33a – Amaravati Sculptures, southern India, 1st century BC and 3rd century AD
Room 95 – The Percival David collection of Chinese ceramics
Room 24 – The Wellcome Trust Gallery of Living and Dying, with Hoa Hakananai'a, a moai, in the centre
Room 25 – Collection of African throwing knives
A few of the Elgin Marbles (also known as the Parthenon Marbles) from the East Pediment of the Parthenon in Athens.
Room 64 - Egyptian grave containing a Gebelein predynastic mummy, late predynastic, 3400 BC
Room 4 – Three black granite statues of the pharaoh Senusret III, c. 1850 BC
Room 4 – Three black granite statues of the goddess Sakhmet, c. 1400 BC
Room 4 – Colossal statue of Amenhotep III, c. 1370 BC
Great Court – Colossal quartzite statue of Amenhotep III, c. 1350 BC
Room 4 - Limestone statue of a husband and wife, 1300-1250 BC
Room 63 - Gilded outer coffins from the tomb of Henutmehyt, Thebes, Egypt, 19th Dynasty, 1250 BC
Book of the Dead of Hunefer, sheet 5, 19th Dynasty, 1250 BC
Room 4 - Ancient Egyptian bronze statue of a cat from the Late Period, about 664–332 BC
Room 4 - Green siltstone head of a Pharaoh, 26th-30th Dynasty, 600-340 BC
Great Court - Black siltstone obelisk of King Nectanebo II of Egypt, Thirtieth dynasty, about 350 BC
Room 62 - Detail from the mummy case of Artemidorus the Younger, a Greek who had settled in Thebes, Egypt, during Roman times, 100-200 AD
Room 12 – A gold earring from the Aegina Treasure, Greece, 1700-1500 BC
Room 18 – Parthenon statuary from the east pediment and Metopes from the south wall, Athens, Greece, 447-438 BC
Room 19 – Caryatid and Ionian column from the Erechtheion, Acropolis of Athens, Greece, 420-415 BC
Room 20 – Tomb of Payava, Lycia, Turkey, 360 BC
Room 21 – Fragmentary horse from the colossal chariot group which topped the podium of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Turkey, c. 350 BC
Room 22 - Gold oak wreath with a bee and two cicadas, western Turkey, c. 350-300 BC
Room 22 – Column from the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Turkey, early 4th century BC
Room 22 - Colossal head of Asclepius wearing a metal crown (now lost), from a cult statue on Melos, Greece, 325-300 BC
Room 1 - Farnese Hermes in the Enlightenment Gallery, Italy, 1st century AD
Room 69 - Roman gladiator helmet from Pompeii, Italy, 1st century AD
Room 23 - The famous version of the 'Crouching Venus', Roman, c. 1st century AD
Room 22 – Roman marble copy of the famous 'Spinario (Boy with Thorn)', Italy, c. 1st century AD
Room 22 – Apollo of Cyrene (holding a lyre), Libya, c. 2nd century AD
Room 56 – The 'Ram in a Thicket' figure, one of a pair, from Ur, Southern Iraq, c. 2600 BC
Room 56 – The famous 'Standard of Ur', a hollow wooden box with scenes of war and peace, from Ur, c. 2600 BC
Room 56 - Sculpture of the god Imdugud, lion-headed eagle surmounting a lintel made from sheets of copper, Temple of Ninhursag at Tell al-'Ubaid, Iraq, c. 2500 BC
Room 56 - Statue of Kurlil, from the Temple of Ninhursag in Tell al-'Ubaid, southern Iraq, c. 2500 BC
Room 56 – The famous Babylonian 'Queen of the Night relief' of the goddess Ishtar, Iraq, c. 1790 BC
Room 57 - Carved ivory object from the Nimrud Ivories, Phoenician, Nimrud, Iraq, 9th–8th century BC
Room 6 – Depiction of the hypocrite, Jehu, King of Israel on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, Nimrud, c. 827 BC
Room 10 – Human Headed Winged Bulls from Khorsabad, companion pieces in the Musée du Louvre, Iraq, 710–705 BC
Room 55 – Cuneiform Collection, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, Iraq, c. 669-631 BC
Room 55 – Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal (detail), Nineveh, Neo-Assyrian, Iraq, c. 645 BC
Room 55 - Panel with striding lion made from glazed bricks, Neo-Babylonian, Nebuchadnezzar II, Southern Iraq, 604–562 BC
Room 52 – A chariot from the Oxus Treasure, the most important surviving collection of Achaemenid Persian metalwork, c. 5th to 4th centuries BC
Room 53 - Stela said to come from Tamma' cemetery, Yemen, 1st century AD
Room 53 - Alabaster statue of a standing female figure, Yemen, 1st-2nd centuries AD
Room 34 - Cylindrical lidded box with an Arabic inscription recording its manufacture for the ruler of Mosul, Badr al-Din Lu'lu', Iraq, c. 1233 – 1259 AD
Rogier van der Weyden - Portrait of a Young Woman, c. 1440
Hieronymus Bosch - A comical barber scene, c. 1477-1516
Sandro Botticelli - Allegory of Abundance, 1480-1485
Leonardo da Vinci – The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and the Infant Saint John the Baptist (prep for 'The Burlington House Cartoon'), c. 1499–1500
Michelangelo – Studies of a reclining male nude: Adam in the fresco 'The Creation of Man' on the vault of the Sistine Chapel, c. 1511
Raphael – Study of Heads, Mother and Child, c. 1509-11
Titian – Drowning of the Pharaoh's Host in the Red Sea, 1515–17
Albrecht Dürer - Drawing of a walrus, 1521
Hans Holbein the Younger - Portrait of Anne Boleyn, 1536
Peter Paul Rubens - Drawing of Isabella Brant, his first wife, 1621
Francisco de Zurbarán - Head of a monk, 1625–64
Claude Lorrain - Drawing of mules, including one full-length, 1630-1640
Rembrandt – The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross, 1634–35
Thomas Gainsborough - Drawing of a woman with a rose, 1763-1765
JMW Turner - Watercolour of Newport Castle, 1796
Isaac Cruikshank - 'The happy effects of that grand system of shutting ports against the English!!', 1808
John Constable - London from Hampstead Heath in a Storm, (watercolour), 1831
James McNeill Whistler - View of the Battersea side of Chelsea Reach, London, (lithograph), 1878
Vincent van Gogh - Man Digging in the Orchard (print), 1883
Peter van Dievoet - Studies for a statue of a figure in Roman dress, most likely for the statue of James II.<ref>Katherine Gibson, 'The emergence of Grinling Gibbons as a statuary', published in Apollo, September 1999, p .28.</ref>
Room 2 – Handaxe, Lower Palaeolithic, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, c. 1.2 million years BC
Room 3 – Swimming Reindeer carving, France, c. 13,000 years BC<ref>{{Cite book|url=|title=BM Reindeer||access-date=20 January 2021|archive-date=1 March 2020|archive-url=|url-status=dead}}</ref>
Room 2 – Ain Sakhri lovers, from the cave of Ain Sakhri, near Bethlehem, c. 9000 BC<ref>{{cite web|url=|title=British Museum - Ain Sakhri lovers figurine|work=British Museum}}</ref>
Room 51 – Mold gold cape, North Wales, Bronze Age, c. 1900–1600 BC
Room 50 – Wandsworth Shield, Iron Age shield boss in La Tène style, England, 2nd century BC
Room 50 – Gold torc found in Needwood Forest, central England, 75 BC
Room 49 - Bronze head of a Roman emperor Claudius, from Rendham in Suffolk, eastern England, 1st century AD
Room 49 – Hinton St Mary Mosaic with face of Christ in the centre, from Dorset, southern England, 4th century AD
Room 49 – Corbridge Lanx, silver tray depicting a shrine to Apollo, northern England, 4th century AD
Room 41 – Silver objects from the Roman Coleraine Hoard, Northern Ireland, 4th-5th centuries AD
Room 41 – Sutton Hoo helmet, Anglo-Saxon, England, early 7th century AD
Room 40 – Ivory statue of Virgin and Child, who is crushing a dragon under her left foot from Paris, France, 1310-1330 AD
Room 40 – Chaucer Astrolabe, the oldest dated in Europe, 1326 AD
Room 40 – Royal Gold Cup or Saint Agnes Cup, made in Paris, France, 1370–80 AD
Room 2a – Holy Thorn Reliquary, made in Paris, c. 1390s AD
Room 38 – Mechanical Galleon clock, Augsburg, Germany, around 1585 AD
Room 38 – Carillon clock with automata by Isaac Habrecht, Switzerland, 1589 AD
Room 39 – Ornate clock made by Thomas Tompion, England, 1690 AD
Room 49 – Romano-British crown and diadem found in Hockwold cum Wilton
Room 33 - Cubic weights made of chert from Mohenjo-daro, Pakistan, 2600-1900 BC
Room 33 - One of the hu from Huixian, China, 5th century BC
Room 33 - A hamsa sacred goose vessel made of crystal from Stupa 32, Taxila, Pakistan, 1st century AD
Room 33 - Stone sculpture of the death of Buddha, Gandhara, Pakistan, 1st-3rd centuries AD
Room 91a - Section of the Admonitions Scroll by Chinese artist Gu Kaizhi, China, c. 380 AD
Room 33 - Gilded bronze statue of the Buddha, Dhaneswar Khera, India, 5th century AD
The Amitābha Buddha from Hancui on display in the museum's stairwell, China, 6th century AD
Room 33 - The luohan from Yixian made of glazed stoneware, China, 907-1125 AD
Sculpture of Goddess Ambika found at Dhar, India, 1034 AD
Sculpture of the two Jain tirthankaras Rishabhanatha and Mahavira, Orissa, India, 11th-12th century AD
Room 33 - Western Zhou bronze ritual vessel known as the "Kang Hou Gui", China, 11th century BC
Room 33 - A crowned figure of the Bodhisattva Khasarpana Avalokiteśvara, India, 12th century AD
Room 33 - Covered hanging jar with underglaze decoration, Si Satchanalai (Sawankalok), north-central Thailand, 14th-16th centuries AD
Room 33 - Hu-shaped altar flower vessel, Ming dynasty, China, 15th -16th centuries AD
Room 33 - An assistant to the Judge of Hell, figure from a judgement group, Ming dynasty, China, 16th century AD
Room 33 - Statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, gilded bronze. Nepal, 16th century AD
Portrait of Ibrâhîm 'Âdil Shâh II (1580–1626), Mughal Empire of India, 1615 AD
Room 90 - Courtesans of the Tamaya House, attributed to Utagawa Toyoharu, screen painting; Japan, Edo period, late 1770s or early 1780s AD
Room 33 - Large statue of Buddha made of lacquer from Burma, 18th-19th century AD
Room 33 - Figure of seated Lama; of painted and varnished papier-mâché, Ladakh, Tibet, 19th century AD
Room 26 - Stone pipe representing an otter from Mound City, Ohio, USA, 200 BC - 400 AD
Room 2 - Stone tomb guardian, part human part jaguar, from San Agustín, Colombia, c. 300-600 AD
Room 1 - Maya maize god statue from Copán, Honduras, 600-800 AD
Room 24 - Gold Lime Flasks (poporos), Quimbaya Culture, Colombia, 600-1100 AD
Room 27 - Lintel 25 from Yaxchilan, Late Classic, Mexico, 600-900 AD
Room 24 - Bird pectoral made from gold alloy, Popayán, Colombia, 900-1600 AD
Room 24 – Rapa Nui statue Hoa Hakananai'a, 1000 AD, Wellcome Trust Gallery
Room 27 - Double-headed serpent turquoise mosaic, Aztec, Mexico, 1400-1500 AD
Room 27 - Turquoise Mosaic Mask, Mixtec-Aztec, Mexico, 1400-1500 AD
Room 2 - Miniature gold llama figurine, Inca, Peru, about 1500 AD
Room 25 - Part of the famous collection of Benin brass plaques, Nigeria, 1500-1600 AD
Room 25 - Detail of one of the Benin brass plaques in the museum, Nigeria, 1500-1600 AD
Room 25 - Benin ivory mask of Queen Idia, Nigeria, 16th century AD
Room 24 - Hawaiian feather helmet or mahiole, late 1700s AD
Bowl decorated with pearl shell and boars' tusks, used to serve the intoxicating drink kava, Hawaii, late 1700s AD
Great Court - Two house frontal totem poles, Haida, British Columbia, Canada, about 1850 AD
Room 25 - Mask (wood and pigment); Punu people, Gabon, 19th century AD
Room 25 - Otobo masquerade in the Africa Gallery, Nigeria, 20th century AD
Room 25 - Modern interpretation of kente cloth from Ghana, late 20th century AD
Main Staircase, Discobolus of Myron (the Discus-Thrower)
British Museum Reading Room
Ceiling of the Great Court and the black siltstone obelisks of Nectanebo II, c. 350 BC
Detail of an Ionic capital on a pilaster in the Great Court
African Garden – created by BBC TV programme Ground Force
Room 4 – Egyptian Sculpture, view towards the Assyrian Transept
Room 4
Room 4
The British Museum, Room 6 – Assyrian Sculpture
Room 8 – Pair of Lamassu from Nimrud & reliefs from the palace of Tiglath-Pileser III
Room 7 – Reliefs from the North-west palace of Ashurnasirpal II, Nimrud
Room 89 – Nimrud & Nineveh Palace Reliefs
Room 10 – Nineveh, The Royal Lion Hunt
Room 18 – Ancient Greece
Room 20a – Tomb of Merehi & Greek Vases, Lycia, 360 BC
Room 85 – Portrait Sculpture, Roman
Room 83 – Roman Sculpture
Room 84 – Towneley Roman Sculptures
Main Staircase – Discobolus, Roman
Main Staircase – Townley Caryatid, Roman, 140–160 AD
Room 5 – Exhibitions Panorama
Room 5 – The Persepolis Casts
Room 5 – Exhibitions Relics
Room 5 – The Cyrus Cylinder

Although today principally a museum of cultural art objects and antiquities, the British Museum was founded as a "universal museum".