The Oriental gallery concentrates upon the great civilisations of Asia, and its purpose is to show how arms and armour can provide a key to understanding Asian history.
The cultures of Asia are far more diverse than those of Europe, and the gallery is divided into a number of distinct zones:
- Central Asia
- Indian sub-continent
- South East Asia
There is one theme that unites all these diverse cultures and has dominated the way in which war was waged in most of them until the 19th century, the use of the mounted archer.
Did you know?
4 Eiffel Towers
During the siege of Sebastopol the British fired about 10,000 tonnes of iron shot; the French fired 510,000 round shot, 236,000 howitzer shells and 350,000 mortar shells – a total of around 43,000 tonnes of iron! About the same weight as 4 Eiffel Towers.