Welcome to Greenwich. Piccadilly Circus. Museum of Childhood. Natural History Museum. Dino Directory. British Museum. Ancient Egypt. Towards the end of the fourth millennium BC several independent city-states were unified to form a single state, marking the beginning of over 3,000 years of pharaonic civilisation in the Nile Valley.
Fertile earth left behind after the yearly Nile flood provided the basis for Egypt’s agricultural prosperity, a key factor in the longevity of the civilisation. Impressive monuments were erected in the name of kings, from monumental temples for the gods to the pyramids marking the burials of rulers. Aztecs (Mexica) During the twelfth century AD the Mexica were a small and obscure tribe searching for a new homeland.
Eventually they settled in the Valley of Mexico and founded their capital, Tenochtitlan, in 1345. At the beginning of the sixteenth century it was one of the largest cities in the world. Polynesia. The islands of the eastern Pacific are known as Polynesia, from the Greek for ‘many islands’.
They lie across a vast stretch of ocean from Hawaii in the north, to New Zealand in the south and Easter Island in the east. The western Polynesian islands of Fiji and Tonga were settled approximately 3,000 years ago, whilst New Zealand was settled as recently as AD1200. The National Gallery. Painting of the Month. He’s England’s patron saint, but little can be said with any certainty about Saint George.
According to legend, Saint George was a Roman soldier who refused to recant his Christian faith, and who was subjected to brutal torture and death by the Emperor Diocletian. He was martyred in Nicomedia (in modern Turkey) and buried in Lydda (in modern Israel). Uccello depicts the scene for which Saint George is most associated - his battle with the dragon - a legend that became popular in the 13th century when recounted by Jacobus de Voragine.
The legend tells of a town in Lydda, terrorised by a fearsome dragon living in a nearby lake. After trying to appease the dragon by feeding him sheep, the townsfolk were forced to offer their own people, who were chosen by lot. Tate Modern. London Eye.