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Contents

03 Editorial

05 Insight Antony Gormley contemplates a sculpture from Rapa Nui

06 News

10 Gifts from the past Aileen Dawson describes an outstanding porcelain collection

13 Around the UK

16 Across the world

18 Diary

20 Reflected lives Venetia Porter investigates contemporary art from the Middle East

24 Hokusai’s pictures of everything Tim Clark discusses an exciting new acquisition

28 ‘The British Museum survives’ Marjorie Caygill recalls previous Museum closures

31 Messages from Roman Britain Richard Hobbs interprets the Vindolanda tablets 34 Treating the tablets Tania Desloge and Barbara Wills reveal their conservation techniques

36 Shining in the dark Jiyi Ryu gives an insight into Korean lacquer

38 Flying Cranes conserved Meejung Kim-Marandet details the conservation of a Korean painting

40 The bravest men on earth? Andrew J. Bayliss sets Spartan athletics in context

44 The Brooks slave ship Jill Cook analyses a jug with a surprising message 46 Drawing from nature Susan Owens tells the story of sketching out of doors

48 Hidden behind gods and kings Amara Solari and Matthew Restall reconsider the longevity of Mayan society

52 Britannia’s coinage Andrew Brown asks what the distribution of Roman coins can tell us about life in this outpost of Empire

54 Preserving knowledge in uncertain times Ceri Ashley outlines a project dedicated to maintaining craft skills that are under threat of extinction

Hatti Akilak (1938– 2010), Inuit, Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada. Arctic Foliage. Felt and wool wall hanging. © Hatti Akilak.

58 Olives under the microscope Caroline Cartwright and James Fraser shed light on ancient olive production

61 Book reviews

64 Curator’s choice Rosina Buckland is enchanted by some playful monkeys

The British Museum: +44 (0)20 7323 8000 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG britishmuseum.org British Museum Friends: +44 (0)20 7323 8195 friends@britishmuseum.org British Museum Magazine: +44 (0)20 7323 8125 Editor: Caroline Bugler Editorial Assistant: Jessica Lane Proofreader: Helen Knox Advertising: Charlotte Burgess +44 (0)20 7300 5675 Photography: BM Photography and Imaging (unless stated otherwise) Design: Tina Hall/Perfect Sky Repro: PH Media Printing: Precision Colour Printing All images © 2020 The Trustees of the British Museum, unless stated otherwise All information correct at time of going to press. We aim to ensure that information about exhibitions outside the British Museum is correct, but readers are advised to check with venues before visiting.

British Museum Friends accept no responsibility for the content of advertisements in this Magazine and have no view on the authenticity or legal status of any works that might be mentioned or illustrated therein. It is the policy of the British Museum Friends to accept antiquities advertisements only where we receive assurance from the advertiser that the illustrated object is documented to have formed part of a legitimate collection prior to 1970.

IJ, Paper from responsible sources

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Cover Burhan Doğançay, A Look at the Bright Side, 1970, from the series ‘General Urban Walls’. Gouache on paper, 73 x 54 cm. Gift of Joanna G. Freistadt in honour of Alice Schwarz-Gardos. Reproduced by permission of the artist.

ISSN 09658297

I 9 770965 829008

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British Museum Magazine Winter 2020

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