Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Historium by Richard Wilkinson & Jo Nelson (Non-fiction, 10/10E)

 September 2015, Templar, 112 pages, Hardback, Review copy 

Content: historical images and facts

Book summary
Welcome to the museum! Here you will find a collection of objects from ancient civilisations. Objects of beauty, functionality, war, life, death and burial. As you wander from room to room, explore the magnificence of what civilisations have left behind over thousands of years of human history!

Nayu's thoughts    
I've possibly said this before, but I took my degree in Ancient History (technically I 'read' Ancient History, but I never understood that bizarre terminology when talking about degrees). Show me mere pot fragments and I'll go gooey-eyed, envisioning the past lives which the pot feature in. There's a wonderful trailer for this book, plus I'm going to tell you about it! 

It is a big book, just a smidge longer (height) than from the top of my middle finger to my elbow, and the length of my forearm for the width, which makes it a heavy tome. Heavy is relative as part of my medical condition is that I have little strength, so almost everything is heavy. Either way it's not one you can pop in your bag, but it's more of a reference book. 

I love how all the different ancient eras are explored, looking at a few key artefacts of the time. It's an exciting read, for history geeks (I used to be one and kind of still am one, I guess!) and also if you don't think much of history yet. It's fascinating seeing what those before us used for decorations and daily lives, as it gives us a glimpse into their mindset, and how they viewed life. There are hundreds of thousands of ancient artifacts, it must have been hard to narrow down which to include in Historium but the collection chosen provides a wide variety of what's out there. 

There's some general information about the particular time and people looked at, as well as finer details about the images shown. My personal favourites are an Egyption scarab necklace (item #26 under Ancient Egypt) 

because it's simple and pretty, despite me not being a jewellery person, and perhaps inevitably an intricately decorated Chinese pot (item #9). 
I love the simple elegance of the black and white, with highly detailed pattern.
I find some of the exhibits a bit freaky, but considering I scare easily it's not entirely surprising. This is definitely a taster of the delights that artefacts from the ancient world provide, and will hopefully get many more interested in the past. 

Suggested read

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