Understanding how we interact with our material world can reveal unparalleled insights into what it is to be human.

Museum archive reconnects a London-based Congolese community with its heritage

10 March 2017

When Reverend Kenred Smith captured moments of life in the Congo over 120 years ago, he couldn’t have imagined that the photos – now in Cambridge'...

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Man v fish in the Amazon rainforest

11 November 2016

The Enawenê-nawê people of the Amazon rainforest make beautifully engineered fishing dams. Living alongside this indigenous community, Dr Chloe...

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A very hairy story

07 November 2016

Beards are back in fashion. But today’s hipster styles convey rather different  messages to the hair men cultivated in the early modern period....

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Ectoplasm, spirit trumpets and paintings from Pompeii: 600 years of Curious Objects

03 November 2016

Why does one of the world’s great research libraries have ‘ectoplasm’, a spirit trumpet and beard hair posted to Charles Darwin among its eight...

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Flamenco: what happens when a grassroots musical genre becomes a marker of culture

18 August 2016

What happens when a musical genre becomes an identifier for a region?  In his book ...

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A Handful of Objects

23 March 2016

Five key objects from the world-class collections at Kettle’s Yard have been made available...

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Remedies for infertility: how performative rituals entered early medical literature

24 January 2016

A study of one of the most important medieval texts devoted to women’s medicine has opened a window into the many rituals associated with...

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The Magna Carta of scientific maps

01 August 2015

One of the most important maps of the UK ever made – described as the ‘Magna Carta of geology’ – is to go on permanent public display in Cambridge...

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Oracle bones and unseen beauty: wonders of priceless Chinese collection now online

22 July 2015

A banknote from 1380 that threatens decapitation, a set of 17th-century prints so delicate they had never been opened, and 3000-year-old ‘oracle...

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