Author : Neil MacGregor ISBN : 0670022705 Publisher : Viking Adult

Summary:
BBC Radio 4 collaborates with the British Museum to give rise to a thought-stimulating book called A History of the World in 100 Objects, written by Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum. The book is comprised of the images of 100 artifacts of the humankind, those preserved in the British Museum, some even dating back to the stone age. Accompanying these photographs, MacGregor has also included tiny bits of wisdom amidst the facts and figures that mark the significant stages of human evolution as one civilization.

The book emanates the essence of progression and throws light on the humans' innate ability to transcend ideas and evolve, through a salubrious representation of a series of artifacts, some of which are – an Olduvai stone chopping tool (2m years old), a Clovis spear point (13000 years old), a Mayan statue of Honduras dating back to AD 715, an ancient writing tablet used between 3100-3000 BC (found in Iraq), an Egyptian status of the demigod Ramesses II (1250 BC), a gold coin of Croesus (550 BC), Olmec stone mask (found in mexico), the pillar of Ashoka (India, 238 BC), the Sutton Hoo helmet (England, AD 600), Hedwig glass breaker (AD 1100), Taino ritual seat (AD 1200-1500), the throne of weapons (Mozambique, 2001) etc. Illustrations of these objects of awe do symbolize something and the author, through this inspiring piece of art and literature combined, brings into light the evident connection across time and space.

Review:
All the objects illustrated in the book hold significant relevance to the advancement of man throughout history; the various artifacts of the ancient civilization brought together in over 600 pages, made from heavy stock paper, speaks the golden strands that connect all happenings across the globe since time immemorial. MacGregor seem to have done quite a bit of analysis on the objects and brings to the fore humanity's advancement as one civilization, while reflecting its various hues that take form of cultures and traditions.

The high resolution photographs are exhilarating; every object is a chapter from the global history, and the author does a great job of correlating humanity, nature, and life. 'The brain is an extremely power-hungry mechanism', he says, while describing the uses of a 2 million year old chopping stone. Our brain is the tool for advancement, it's an antenna that matches its frequency with the forces of the nature and borrows essential elements from it, only to give rise to an expression that is characterized by the true nature of the source itself, emanating the scent of randomness that is found throughout the universe. He explains how man learned to survive, how the ancient traditions and culture has taken form of what we see and experience today. From man's tendency to aim for the higher to his characteristic of becoming a victim of his fallacies, MacGregor delivers it all in the form of A History of the World in 100 Objects. This is not only a book that will act as a source of inspiration for the knowledge craving history lovers, but also a fine piece of art meant for whole of humanity as it describes the deciphering of the terrain theough material evidences of the past.

Nhut Pham

Nhut Pham

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