The Gold cape in Room 51 was worn for ceremonies. The neck is not very wide and it's curving downwards shows it would have restricted upper arm movement

Room 51

Europe and Middle East

10,000–800 BC
The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Gallery

Visiting the gallery

Opening times

Daily: 10.00–17.00 (Fridays: 20.30)
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Gallery audio guides

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Farming began in the Middle East about 12,000 years ago, making possible social, cultural and economic changes that shaped the modern world.

When farming arrived in Britain about 6,000 years ago, it brought a new way of life. This change in lifestyle meant people competed for wealth, power and status, displaying these through jewellery, weapons and feasting.

The objects on display in Room 51 show how the people of prehistoric Europe celebrated life and death and expressed their relationship with the natural world, the spirit world and each other.

Take a virtual tour

In Room 51, see the breadth of objects which show how life changed from prehistoric times through to 800 BC, including the luxurious possessions which landowners used to display their wealth.

Display cases in the gallery. ©2020 Google


  • Some objects in this collection feature on the British Sign Language multimedia guide. This resource is temporarily unavailable. You can access a selection of BSL films on your own device.
  • Some objects in this collection feature on the audio description guide, available on Soundcloud.
  • Step-free access.
  • View sensory map.

Visit Accessibility at the Museum for more information.