These 82 chess pieces were carved (rather marvellously) from walrus ivory and whale tooth in the late 12th-century, and found on a beach on the windswept Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, in 1831. The pieces represent the highest classes of society and may well have been made for a medieval Norwegian king, as a symbolic display of his sovereign power (the Isle of Lewis then being part of the Kingdom of Norway).

The British Museum's top five masterpieces

The Elgin Marbles - from the ruin of the Parthenon.

The British Museum's top five masterpieces

Late 18th Dynasty Thebes (1250 BC to you and me).  It preserves the body of 'The Chantress of Amun’, a well-regarded singer who performed at temple rituals.

The British Museum's top five masterpieces

Late Dynasty Thebes BC to you and me). It preserves the body of 'The Chantress of Amun’, a well-regarded singer who performed at temple rituals.

The Rosetta Stone

The British Museum's top five masterpieces

The British Museum's top five masterpieces - Telegraph

Persian - 5th century BC

The British Museum's top five masterpieces

Oxus chariot, a model of a Persian chariot buried in a hoard from Central Asia (British Museum)

Moai

Moai

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Sarcophagus fragments

Sarcophagus fragments

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British Museum, Museums

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British Museum, Museums

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British Museum, Museums

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British Museum, Museums

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British Museum, Museums

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British Museum, Museums

She loved it!

She loved it!

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British Museum, Museums

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