Pick from a range of interesting facts and detailed information about Scotland and the Scottish people.
Scotland is known the world over as a place of history and heritage as well as cutting edge art and culture
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Scotland is renowned across the globe for its rich culture and heritage, and its contribution to the world past and present. From its thriving contemporary arts and music scene to its achievements in industry, medicine, science, law and literature, Scotland's story is one of immense achievement
The National Museum of Scotland in focus
Visitors to the re-opened museum can explore 16 new galleries containing 8,000 objects from a giant T. rex skeleton to Alexander Fleming's Nobel Prize Gold medal for penicillin, and specimens collected by Charles Darwin to 3,000 year old mummies.
Sir Angus Grossart, Chairman of National Museums Scotland, described the attraction as a 'must see' destination.
Here are some of the museum's 'must see' treasures:
Fancy getting up close and personal with a T.rex? Well it is possible at the National Museum of Scotland, where a 12 metre-long life-sized skeleton cast of one of one of the largest carnivorous dinosaurs that ever lived stands proud as the centrepiece of the ‘Animal World’ gallery
The cast has been taken from one of the most complete T.rex specimens in the world, found in 1988 in Eastern Montana, USA, The skeleton is 85 per cent complete and includes the skull and the first complete T.rex forelimb ever found.
Dolly the Sheep
Dolly is the world’s most famous sheep. In 1996 she became the first cloned mammal every created from an adult cell – the result of pioneering work by scientists at Scotland’s Roslin Institute.
Dolly lived for six years and was given to the National Museum of Scotland. Her remains were conserved by a taxidermist of the museum, and she can be seen in the ‘Connect Gallery’, where she has become a popular attraction with visitors from all over the world.
Ching Ching the giant panda
Giant pandas are one of the world’s most endangered species. There are thought to be just 1,600 giant pandas left in China.
Ching Ching the giant panda and her partner Chia Chia were gifted to Britain in 1974 by the Chinese Government.
Ching Ching resided at London Zoo until her death in 1985. Sadly, she and Chia Chia never produced any cubs.
You can now see the famous London Zoo resident in the ‘Life Works Gallery’.
Alexander Fleming’s Nobel Prize Gold medal
Alexander Fleming was a Scottish bacteriologist who in 1928 discovered penicillin, the world’s first antibiotic. His invention – one of the most successful medical breakthroughs of the 20th century – won him the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1945.
Sir Alexander Fleming’s Nobel medal, which had previously been in storage, will be on show along with 800 objects as part of the ‘Window on the World’ four storey display.
Arthur’s Seat coffins
These miniature coffins are among the most popular and mysterious objects in the National Museum of Scotland.
Discovered inside a cave on Arthur's Seat - a mountain in the middle of the city of Edinburgh - in 1836, the miniature coffins are only 95 mm in length. Each contains a carved wooden figure with custom made outfits.
Some believe the coffins were used by witches to cast spells on individuals, others think they were used by sailors to protect them against death, and some believe they may represent a mock burial for the 17 known victims of the infamous 19th century Edinburgh grave robbers Burke and Hare.
No-one knows why the coffins were made, buried or who was responsible for them, but people have been trying to solve the mystery ever since their discovery. The coffins can be seen in ‘Daith Comes In’ where you can try and solve the mystery of their purpose.
Coffins and mummy masks from Ancient Egypt
The National Museum of Scotland houses a collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts. In 1908 an untouched burial site was discovered in Qurna Thebes, the following year artefacts from the find arrived in the museum.
Explore through the ages of ancient Egypt, from the coffin of the Estate-Overseer Khnumhotep from the early 18th century BC to the unique double coffin of two brothers, Patanum and Penhorpabik, 175-200 AD.
‘Diaspora tartan’ is part of a digitally printed series created by textile designer Jill Kinnear, a Scot who migrated to Queensland Australia.
The ‘Diaspora Tartan’ was created after two large metal tartan patterns were constructed. The structures were then passed through a baggage x-ray machine at Brisbane International Airport. The images captured from the x-ray machine were then used to digitally print the tartan pattern onto silks. The ‘Diaspora Tartan’ can be seen in ‘Scotland: A Changing Nation’.
Sir Jackie Stewart’s F1 car
Scots racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart has loaned his 1971 Word Championship winning Tyrrell 003 Formula One car to the National Museum.
The Tyrrell 003 has won more grand prix races than any other racing car, and is on display along with Stewart’s 1971 Monaco and German grand prix trophies and his famous tartan rimmed racing helmet.