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December 23, 2010

Were the disputed artefacts glossed over in the History of the world in 100 objects?

Posted at 2:01 pm in British Museum, Similar cases

The BBC’s series – A history of the world in 100 objects covered various artefacts whose ownership was disputed, many people aren’t happy with the way that this fact was only given cursory coverage, focussing on the artefact rather than its history.

Modern Ghana

An Akan drum and the British Museum’s history of the world
Columnist: Kofi Amenyo

So it is true that human beings and human culture began in Africa, eh? Homo sapiens evolved in Africa at least 150,000 years ago. The fact was brought home to us again when the director of the British Museum (BM), Neil MacGregor, in collaboration with BBC, selected 100 items from the museum’s vast collection to tell the history of the world in a hundred 15-minute programmes on Radio 4.

Human life started in Black Africa – specifically in present day Tanzania. When the narrator tells us that “we all have Africa in our DNA” one feels proud to be African. Two items at the beginning of the series (2 and 3) were from the East African Rift Valley: the Olduvai Stone Chopper and the Olduvai Handaxe. Both have the distinction of being the oldest objects in the BM. They are 1.8 million years old!
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