Discover History's Treasures

Putting history in your hand - the BBC's first ever Augmented Reality app 'Civilisations AR' brings art and culture direct to you from across the world.

Discover the secrets of ancient Egypt, reveal hidden layers beneath Renaissance masterpieces and learn more about the origins of these cultural treasures and the people who made them.

Treasures to be found include an ancient Egyptian mummy from the Torquay Museum, Rodin's The Kiss from the National Museum of Wales, iconic sculptures from Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth and masterpieces by Tintoretto, Bellini and Turner.

This personal, virtual collection contains over 30 historic artefacts. It is curated by the BBC with contributions from across the UK's heritage sector and is developed in collaboration with Nexus Studios (

This free AR App forms part of a major collaboration between the BBC, Nexus Studios and more than 30 museums from across the UK to mark the launch of the new landmark arts and culture series, Civilisations.

Please treat these cultural treasures with respect when enjoying and sharing this AR experience.


Bring realistic, to-scale artefacts from History into your own home using cutting edge Augmented Reality technology.

Move, scale and rotate the collection, allowing you to become the explorer.

Use the magic Spotlight to reveal audio guides and special features.

Use the X-Ray feature to discover history's secrets hidden within - see inside a sarcophagus or what lies beneath a painting.

Rub through the layers of history with Restore, bringing lustre to a Greek Corinthian helmet or colour to a faded Roman Cockerel statuette and find out what they looked like when new.

Translate hieroglyphics from the British Museum's iconic Rosetta Stone.

Navigate the collection geographically in AR, using an AR globe or via the curated themes.

Take and share photos of the objects in your home, garden or school.

Advanced AR features are supported on: iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone SE, iPad Pro, iPad (2017), iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, iPhone X.

1. Be Safe
When you're using the Civilisations AR experience, please make sure that you are in a safe environment. Don't use the AR experience while walking or driving and be aware of your surroundings! Wait a little bit before starting activities that require you to focus.

Children may start playing without taking time to think about relevant safety requirements and when they get excited they often forget to be aware of obstacles and hazards in their surroundings. Therefore an adult needs to be present to ensure that children are safe when using the Civilisations AR experience.

Also, don't use the Civilisations AR experience if you have a medical condition that may affect you when using it or if you consumed anything that may affect your balance. In any case, stop using the AR experience immediately if you feel nausea, dizziness or any disorientation.

2. Terms
By downloading and using the Civilisations AR experience, you agree to the Terms of Use for the BBC's digital services [] and to the BBC Civilisations AR Terms of Use within the app []

The AR experience uses online identifiers to provide the BBC with general statistics.

The Civilisations AR experience is for your personal, non-business use only. No commercial use of the app or any content made available within is permitted.
The terms of the handset that you are using for the app and the App Store also apply.
The Civilisations AR experience is published by BBC Media AT (BBC Media Applications Technologies Limited), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).

Full details of BBC Media AT are available on the Companies House website at:

What's New

Version 1.9

In this first update we’ve fixed some niggly bugs. We’re working on some new things for the future so keep checking back!

Ratings and Reviews

4.1 out of 5

14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Great use of AR


One of the better uses of AR I’ve seen yet. The app is very polished and seems like something you’d see at the British Museum. (I never thought I’d have a Rodin sculpture in my kitchen 😉)

Mummy in the house

Bronx Juan

This is cool, I am really enjoying this AR experience!

dont work


Ultimately trapped in the “tap and hold on a place to artifact “ step, screen is loading forever.


BBC Media Applications Technologies Limited
111.6 MB
Requires iOS 11.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 3 Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 4 Wi-Fi + Cellular, 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad (5th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (5th generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation), 12.9-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular (2nd generation), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro Wi‑Fi + Cellular, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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