Monday, 12 May 2014

The British Museum

Our plans to check out some more greenery had to be abandoned due to the predictably crappy British weather. Rather than trudging around in the rain we chose to get some knowledge at the British Museum. I'm pretty sure we've been before when we were at school but neither of us could remember much about it. 

As we walked up to the grand entrance, we were surprised at the amount of people around.

Turns out we underestimated the size and popularity of this place! Sadly I forgot to charge up the battery on my Lumix camera after our day at Richmond Park so it's iPhone photos for the rest of this post (sorry dad!).

We weren't the only ones in awe of the Atrium ceiling. Realising we had a lot of exhibitions to get around, we found ourselves a map and picked a few eras to go check out. We started with Ancient Egypt where we were greeted with this part female, part Sphinx (I think!) creature:

We were in awe at the hieroglyphics. Especially at how small and detailed they were. In fact, we were in awe of the entire Ancient Egypt galleries as the craftsmanship and preservation of their artefacts were incredible!

Honestly, I'd forgotten most of the stuff I learned about History in school but I really enjoyed re-learning it all. I was morbidly fascinated with the sarcophagus', marveling at how much effort was put into their tombs to ensure that they were preserved and welcomed into the afterlife by the Gods. 

Dan demonstrating the depth of this sarcophagus.

That's me walking like an Egyptian, Bangles style (facepalm)

The head and upper torso of a huuuuge statue. (With hindsight, I should have taken a photo of their names and descriptions so I could share them with you, sorry!)

This reminded me of my black cat, Mia although this one has a fetching septum piercing!

This is the Rosetta Stone! Now I'm going to be completely honest here and tell you that up until this visit, I thought that the Rosetta Stone language programmes were named after a famous woman named Rosetta Stone that founded the company to help teach people languages. So you can imagine my embarrassment and surprise when I learned that it was in fact, an actual stone that was inscribed with 3 different languages -  the first is Egyptian hieroglyphics, the second is Demotic and the third Ancient Greek. As it is roughly the same text in all 3 languages, when it was discovered it helped translate the previously untranslatable hieroglyphics. Unsurprisingly this piece of history drew the biggest crowds, with people queuing to take a photo of it. I'm not really sure why I didn't know this already but nevermind, this is what museums are for aren't they?

After spending at least an hour looking at the Ancient Egypt gallery on the ground floor, we moved on to Ancient Greece.

I remembered that this sculpture depicts Aphrodite being interrupted while she bathed herself. The part I found most interesting was the folds of her stomach - she looks soft, round and voluptuous which made her seem more life-like to me.

As we were starting to flag, we decided to find some more obscure artefacts. We started with the turquoise and mosaic pieces made by the Aztecs in Mexico:

Creepy, funny and seriously impressive! We really wanted to take one of them home with us.

Next we moved onto the Oriental Antiques gallery which started with a corridor displaying beautiful pieces made from jade. Annoyingly the lighting was too dark for any decent photos. Thankfully it led into a huge, brightly lit room where we were greeted by this cheerful fella:

Amazing colours!

So there you have it, a tiny peek into what the British Museum has to offer. I'd really recommend going if you haven't already - it's the perfect way to wile away a rainy day, brush up on some history and it's FREE!

Have you been before? What sections should I check out next time?

Feel free to share your most embarrassing stories of things you didn't know until recently so I feel less stupid!

If you're a fan of burgers, make sure you pop back for my next post ;-)

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