Only in Edinburgh by Duncan J.D. Smith

82 Old Town 35 Mysteries at the National Museum EH1 1JF (Old Town), the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street Bus 2 to Merchant Street, 23, 27, 41, 42, 67 to Chambers Street; 35 to Forrest Road Visitors to the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street (EH1) can travel the world without leaving Edinburgh. From the age of the dinosaurs to future technology, its galleries contain artefacts from most places and periods. It was formed in 2006 by the merger of two ex- isting collections: the Museum of Scotland (founded as the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland in 1858) and the Royal Museum (founded as the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art in 1866). De- spite the merger both retain their distinctive architectural character: the Royal Museum its Victorian neo-Renaissance building of 1888 and the Museum of Scotland its modern Corbusian building, erected when it relocated here from Queen Street in the 1990s. A spectacular entrance to the museum is provided by the refur- bished Victorian Grand Gallery. Based on the Crystal Palace, it consists of a light-filled atrium flanked by balconies supported on rows of cast iron columns. The disparate objects displayed – from a huge South Pacific feasting bowl to a 19th century lighthouse lens – provide a taster of the treasures to come. The same goes for the Window on the World, a vertical installation showcasing 800 diverse objects, including a girder from the infamous Tay Bridge. The Discoveries gallery beyond celebrates Scottish innovation and includes the world’s oldest colour television invented by John Logie Baird (1888–1946) and Boulton & Watt’s pioneering beam engine. It would take several trips to appreciate the many themed galleries that follow: the Natural World, Art, Design & Fashion, World Cultures, and Science & Technology, which includes Dolly the sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal. Space permits only a taster here, so what follows are three mysterious exhibits displayed in the Scotland Galleries. The first (in the Early Peoples Gallery) is the Ballachulish Woman. This life-sized wooden sculpture with pebbles for eyes was found in 1880 on the shore of Loch Leven in Inverness-shire. It has been dated to around 600BC making it the oldest human figure found in Scot- land. Undoubtedly female and probably young, the gravel embedded