Two exhibitions, in England and France, are showing different ways to promote interest in archaeology and history from regions afar. Sudan: ancient treasures is a lavish and elegant show at the British Museum, London. In Auch, Le crépuscule des dieux, on the Americas, is imaginative but penurious. The first raises an ethical worry, the second a couple of technical principles.
Sudan displays some 350 exhibits, from an Acheulian handaxe to Medieval inscriptions, all from the Sudan National Museum, celebrating its centenary. Most are clearly arranged in chronological sections, and amplifying the narrative are an effective introduction and sections on goldwork, pottery and burials. The exhibition is completed by photographs of the multinational Meroe Dam Archaeological Salvage Project, which (it is claimed) has enhanced knowledge of the Sudan’s northern Nile. My visit was amidst a steady flow of highly attentive visitors from the world over and an excited but also attentive school party.