I've always loved history, but as much as I read about it, dates and places don't always stick in my head. What I like about history are the stories, and part of me feels that no matter what time and location these stories took place in, there's something about the best stories of history that we can all relate to.
Another way of looking at history is through objects and artifacts. Museums of all stripes specialize and excel at presenting a physical retelling of a story, whether its of art, technology, eating, music, or growing up. While we have exceptional museums here in Santa Fe, it's also neat to see how other museums tell the human story.
The British Museum and the BBC have collaborated on A History of the World, a timeline using objects from as long ago as 2 million years ago to the present day. You can swoop through the timeline on a grand scale, or filter the objects by limits such as location, culture, and material. You can even limit by color, in case you want to gauge the popularity of purple throughout the ages. When you find objects of interest, you can click and get more information about the society and times that formed it.
While this site might not be the most useful if your history project is due tomorrow morning, it's a fantastic way to explore a certain time period, civilization, or just all of human history at once. You might even find yourself remembering some of those dates as well!
Image is Stone handaxe from Pontnewydd Cave, Denbighshire. © Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales
Thanks to the Santa Fe Community College Library for the tip about this great resource!