Çatalhöyük at the Brunei Gallery

The Brunei Gallery stuns again with a new exhibition using interactive digital technology to engage with whole new audiences.

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Flint rock replicas (in blue plastic)

The ancient city of Çatalhöyük is famous for the splendour of the finds, the methodological freedom offered to dig teams and the fact that here was an early urban centre enjoying many of the blessings of civilisations (and possibly many of the pitfalls) but which did not seem to experience war.

 

The exhibition provides a series of lab spaces which visitors can sit at and explore different aspects of archaeology. Offering a glimpse into a specialised world, it is one of the few exhibitions on ancient history to foreground issues of scholarship. Too often, narrative and items are the focus of exhibitions and the nuances of interpretation are pushed to the back.

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Go on, have a look

Combined with the Virtual Zoroastrian Exhibition (also shown), this is museum UX at its very best. A hint at what decolonised museums can be the 21st century: at the centre of their communities, not afraid to present challenging and intellectually complex themes in engaging and exciting ways.

5 stars