I’m really excited about A History of the World in 100 Objects which starts tomorrow on Radio 4 (I’ll be listening to the 7.45pm slot, but you can catch it at at 10.45am as well).
The series will look at objects from all over the world – and will span tens of thousands of years of human struggle and achievement. Every object will have been man-made. That is what makes this different. Most histories are based on documents as sources. This takes as a starting point that the craft and inspiration involved in making things can reveal history in a different and complementary way.
There’s a lot of stuff all over the BBC’s website and the British Museum’s site too.
As well as getting the artefacts out of the cases/dusty storerooms (probably more the former?) I think this series will also make us consider ways of doing history. Wish they hadn’t set it up almost in opposition to doing history from documentary sources – documents are artefacts too and can involve craft and inspiration in their creation…