Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

The BP exhibition
Scythians: warriors of ancient Siberia

14 September 2017 - 14 January 2018
Room 30, Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery
£16.50, Members/under 16s free

2,500 years ago groups of formidable warriors roamed the vast open plains of Siberia. Feared, loathed, admired – but over time forgotten... Until now.

This major exhibition explores the story of the Scythians – nomadic tribes and masters of mounted warfare, who flourished between 900 and 200 BC. Their lifestyle and ferocity has echoed through the ages. Other groups from the Huns to the Mongols have followed in the Scythians' footsteps - and they have even influenced the portrayal of the Dothraki in Game of Thrones. The Scythians' encounters with the Greeks, Assyrians and Persians were written into history but for centuries all trace of their culture was lost – buried beneath the ice.

Discoveries of ancient tombs have unearthed a wealth of Scythian treasures. Amazingly preserved in the permafrost, clothes and fabrics, food and weapons, spectacular gold jewellery – even mummified warriors and horses – are revealing the truth about these people’s lives. These incredible finds tell the story of a rich civilisation, which eventually stretched from its homeland in Siberia as far as the Black Sea and even the edge of China.

Many of the objects in this stunning exhibition are on loan from the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. Scientists and archaeologists are continuing to discover more about these warriors and bring their stories back to life.

Explore their lost world and discover the splendour, the sophistication and the sheer power of the mysterious Scythians.

Supported by BP
Organised with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia 


Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond

Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond

2 November 2017 - 8 April 2018
Room 35
£15.00, Members/under 16s free

This exhibition looks at the practice of religious beliefs from 40,000 years ago to the present, as well as what objects reveal about the significance of believing, in societies all around the world.

The exhibition accompanies a BBC Radio 4 series by Neil MacGregor.

Supported by the Genesis Foundation. With grateful thanks to John Studzinski CBE.