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?
Armour is not just made from iron and steel, but also from bronze, silver, gold, wood, leather, bone, and can be decorated with precious stones and even shells. Modern armours use ceramics and plastics.