Location City: London

Jade Cong
These enigmatic, rectilinear tubes reveal clarity of thought and took great effort to produce. What can they mean?

Jade Cong

Pisa Pulpit
Some distortions are deliberate. This pulpit has its critics, but it coheres in real life—just not in photos.

Giovanni Pisano, Pisa Pulpit

Jericho Skull
Is the plaster face on this skull modeled after a real person? Is it one of the world’s oldest portraits?

The Jericho Skull

Lion Man
The cave lion was the fiercest animal of the ice age, and this mammoth ivory carving combines human with lion.

Lion Man

Tipu's Tiger
Made for a sultan, this unusual automaton emblematizes the fierce hostility between British and Indian rulers.

Tipu’s Tiger

This cloth—first woven by a wise spider—sends social messages through a system of specific patterns.

Kente cloth

Belt Buckle, Sutton Hoo, early 7th century, gold, 13.2 x 5.6 cm © Trustees of the British Museum
Excavated in 1939, this 7th-century grave once held a hoard of metalwork, all buried within a 27-meter long ship!

Sutton Hoo Ship Burial