The Most Popular Exhibit at the British Museum: Ranking the Crowd Favorite

Choose the exhibit you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 17, 2024 06:04
Discover the wonders of the British Museum through our latest interactive ranking: "What is the most popular exhibit at the British Museum?" Delve into the fascinating world of history and art as you explore thousands of polls and rankings on StrawPoll. Curious to know which exhibit reigns supreme among visitors? Cast your vote for your favorite exhibit or suggest a hidden gem that deserves the spotlight. From the enchanting Rosetta Stone to the awe-inspiring Elgin Marbles, join fellow history enthusiasts in this captivating journey, and see how your top pick fares in the ultimate battle of popularity. Don't miss out on the opportunity to contribute to this unique and engaging poll. Dive in now and let the voting begin!

What Is the Most Popular Exhibit at the British Museum?

  1. 1
    The Rosetta Stone is one of the most popular exhibits at the British Museum, as it played a crucial role in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. It is a large granite stone inscribed with a decree from King Ptolemy V in three different scripts.
    The Rosetta Stone is an ancient artifact that played a crucial role in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. It is a large slab of black granite measuring about 114 by 72 centimeters, with inscriptions in three different scripts: ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and ancient Greek.
    • Material: Black granite
    • Dimensions: Approximately 114 by 72 centimeters
    • Inscriptions: Hieroglyphs, Demotic script, and ancient Greek
    • Discovery: Found in 1799 by French troops during Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign
    • Significance: Led to the decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by Jean-François Champollion
    Rosetta Stone in other rankings
  2. 2
    The Parthenon sculptures are a collection of ancient Greek marble sculptures that were originally part of the Parthenon temple in Athens. They depict various mythological scenes and are considered some of the finest examples of classical Greek art.
    The Parthenon sculptures, also known as the Elgin Marbles, are a collection of Classical Greek marble sculptures that originally adorned the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis of Athens. Designed by the Greek sculptor Phidias, they were created between 447 and 438 BC as part of the temple's decorative frieze and metopes.
    • Material: Marble
    • Creation Period: 447-438 BC
    • Location: Originally adorned the Parthenon in Athens, now housed in the British Museum
    • Style: Classical Greek
    • Subject Matter: Mythological and historical scenes
  3. 3
    Egyptian mummies
    Néfermaât · CC BY-SA 2.5

    Egyptian mummies

    Egyptian civilization
    The British Museum has an extensive collection of Egyptian mummies and other artifacts, including tomb paintings, jewelry, and funerary objects. Visitors are often fascinated by the process of mummification and the beliefs surrounding death and the afterlife in ancient Egypt.
    The 'Egyptian mummies' exhibit at the British Museum showcases a fascinating collection of ancient Egyptian mummified remains. This exhibit takes visitors on a journey into the world of mummification, providing insights into the religious beliefs, rituals, and the art of preservation practiced by the ancient Egyptians. Visitors can explore the various aspects of mummification, including the embalming process, the significance of burial rituals, and the cultural beliefs surrounding the afterlife.
    • Age: Dating back to around 3000 BCE
    • Historical significance: Offers insights into ancient Egyptian belief systems and burial practices
    • Number of mummies: Approximately 140 mummies on display
    • Mummification techniques: Showcases different techniques used, including natural desiccation, resin impregnation, and intricate wrapping styles
    • Variety of mummies: Includes mummies of both royalty and common people, as well as animals
  4. 4
    The Sutton Hoo treasure is a collection of Anglo-Saxon artifacts, including a helmet, sword, and ship burial, discovered in Suffolk in the 1930s. It is considered one of the most important archaeological finds in Britain and provides insight into the early Anglo-Saxon period.
    The Sutton Hoo treasure is a collection of valuable artifacts discovered in the burial site of a 7th-century Anglo-Saxon ship. It was unearthed in 1939 in Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, England, and represents one of the greatest archaeological finds in British history. The treasure provides valuable insights into the wealth, craftsmanship, and cultural practices of the Anglo-Saxons during the Early Middle Ages.
    • Location: Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, England
    • Discovery Year: 1939
    • Time Period: 7th century
    • Materials: Gold, silver, garnet, enamel, glass, and organic materials
    • Significance: Provides insights into Anglo-Saxon society and burial practices
  5. 5
    Lewis Chessmen
    National Museums Scotland · CC BY-SA 4.0
    The Lewis Chessmen are a collection of 12th-century chess pieces carved from walrus ivory. They were discovered on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland in 1831 and depict various medieval characters, including kings, queens, knights, and bishops.
    The Lewis Chessmen are a collection of 78 medieval chess pieces that were discovered on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland. They are believed to have been created in the late 12th or early 13th century, during the Viking Age. The chessmen are made of walrus ivory and are highly detailed, with intricate carvings depicting human figures and mythical creatures. The collection includes kings, queens, bishops, knights, rooks, and pawns, with each piece exhibiting unique characteristics and expressions. The chessmen are considered one of the most important medieval art discoveries and have become iconic representations of the Viking culture.
    • Material: Walrus ivory
    • Number of pieces: 78
    • Origin: Isle of Lewis, Scotland
    • Age: Late 12th or early 13th century
    • Artistic style: Viking
  6. 6
    The Elgin Marbles are a controversial collection of ancient Greek sculptures that were removed from the Parthenon temple in Athens by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century. They have been the subject of an ongoing dispute between Greece and Britain over their ownership and repatriation.
    The Elgin Marbles, also known as the Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures. They were originally part of the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. The Marbles primarily depict scenes from Greek mythology and architectural elements of the temple. The intricate details and exquisite craftsmanship make them significant examples of ancient Greek art and sculpture.
    • Material: Marble
    • Period: Classical Greek
    • Date: 5th century BCE
    • Location: Originally part of the Parthenon, Athens, Greece
    • Total number of panels: Around 75
  7. 7
    The Aztec turquoise mask is a remarkable example of Mesoamerican art and craftsmanship. It is made from turquoise, shell, and wood and depicts the Aztec god Xiuhtecuhtli.
    The Aztec turquoise mask is a stunning artifact from ancient Mesoamerica, specifically the Aztec civilization. The mask is made primarily of turquoise, a precious stone highly valued by the Aztecs. It is believed to have been created during the 15th century and showcases the exceptional craftsmanship of the Aztec artists. The mask is notable for its intricate design and symbolic significance in Aztec culture.
    • Material: Turquoise
    • Creation Period: 15th century
    • Dimensions: Height: X cm, Width: X cm
    • Weight: X kg
    • Symbolism: Represented a deity or important Aztec figure
  8. 8
    The Benin Bronzes are a collection of brass sculptures and plaques that were looted from the Kingdom of Benin (now Nigeria) by British forces in the late 19th century. They are considered some of the finest examples of African art and have been the subject of calls for repatriation.
    The Benin Bronzes are a collection of exquisite brass sculptures and plaques created by the Edo people of Benin (now Nigeria) during the 13th to 15th centuries. The collection consists of a wide variety of artworks, including figurines, masks, and plaques that were primarily created for the royal court of the Kingdom of Benin.
    • Date: 13th to 15th centuries
    • Materials: Brass
    • Size: Various sizes, ranging from small figurines to large plaques
    • Subjects: Depictions of courtly scenes, royal figures, warriors, animals, and deities
    • Technique: Lost-wax casting, alloying, and intricate detailing
  9. 9
    The British Museum has a collection of Assyrian reliefs that were originally part of the palace of King Ashurbanipal in Nineveh (now Iraq). They depict scenes of warfare, hunting, and religious rituals and provide insight into the ancient Assyrian civilization.
    The Assyrian reliefs are a collection of stone carvings that depict scenes of ancient Assyrian civilization. These reliefs were originally created to adorn the walls of palaces and temples in ancient Assyria, a historical region in Mesopotamia, which is now modern-day Iraq. The reliefs provide valuable insights into the political, cultural, and military aspects of the Assyrian Empire.
    • Material: Stone
    • Dimensions: Varies, but generally large
    • Purpose: Decoration and propaganda
    • Subjects: Military campaigns, hunting scenes, religious rituals, court life
    • Detail: Intricate and finely executed
  10. 10
    Moai statues
    Rivi · CC BY-SA 3.0
    The British Museum has a collection of Moai statues, which are large stone sculptures from Easter Island. They were created by the Rapa Nui people between 1250 and 1500 CE and are believed to represent ancestors or deities.
    The Moai statues are large, monolithic stone figures that were built by the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island, known as Rapa Nui in the indigenous language. These statues are iconic symbols of the island's rich cultural and artistic heritage. The Moai statues are known for their distinct, elongated facial features and demure expressions. They were primarily carved from compressed volcanic ash or tuff, known as tuff stone or basalt, found on Easter Island.
    • Height: Most Moai statues range between 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) in height.
    • Weight: The average weight of the statues is around 13 tons, with the heaviest one weighing about 82 tons.
    • Construction material: The statues were mainly carved from compressed volcanic ash or tuff.
    • Facial features: They have distinct facial features, including elongated ears, prominent noses, and deep eye sockets.
    • Expressions: The statues usually have a solemn and stoic expression, with their eyes gazing forward.

Missing your favorite exhibit?


Ranking factors for popular exhibit

  1. Number of visitors
    The number of people who visit the exhibit is a strong indicator of its popularity. Higher footfall suggests that the exhibit is in demand and a must-see for many visitors.
  2. Cultural significance
    The historical and cultural importance of an exhibit influences its popularity. Artifacts or collections that represent significant moments in history or have a strong connection to the British Museum's target audience are likely to generate more interest.
  3. Artistic or historical value
    The rarity, authenticity, and overall significance of the artifacts in the exhibit contribute to its popularity. Exhibits featuring unique or invaluable pieces may draw larger crowds.
  4. Educational value
    Exhibits that offer educational insights and information related to history, culture, or scientific discovery are often popular among visitors. These exhibits should have comprehensive displays and engaging content that can captivate and educate visitors of all ages.
  5. Interactive elements and multimedia
    Interactive displays, hands-on activities, and multimedia presentations can enhance the visitor experience and increase the popularity of an exhibit. These features help visitors better engage with and understand the subject matter.
  6. Marketing and publicity
    The success and popularity of an exhibit also depend on the marketing efforts promoting it. Well-publicized and high-profile exhibits can attract more visitors and garner attention from the public and media.
  7. Visitor reviews and feedback
    Positive reviews from visitors and critics play a crucial role in determining the exhibit's popularity. Good word-of-mouth and online reviews can influence visitation rates and visitor perceptions of the exhibit.
  8. Duration and accessibility
    Long-lasting or permanent exhibits have a better chance of attracting visitors, as they provide more opportunities for people to visit. Additionally, exhibits that are easily accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities, may have a broader appeal.
  9. Partnerships and collaborations
    Exhibits resulting from partnerships or collaborations with other institutions, artists, or researchers can draw in new audiences and bring additional prestige and interest.
  10. Online presence
    The exhibit's digital engagement, such as virtual tours, online resources, and social media interactions, can also impact its popularity, as these platforms reach wider audiences who may then decide to visit the museum in person to experience the exhibit firsthand.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular exhibit at the British Museum. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or exhibition is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 231 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each exhibition once every 24 hours. The rank of each exhibition is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular exhibit at the british museum

The British Museum, located in London, is one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in the world. With over 8 million objects in its collection, it covers a vast range of art, culture, and history from around the globe. Among its most popular exhibits are the Rosetta Stone, the Egyptian mummies, and the Parthenon sculptures. Visitors to the museum can explore these and other fascinating artifacts, learning about the ancient civilizations that created them and the stories they tell about our shared human history. So, what is the most popular exhibit at the British Museum? Let's find out.

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