Tuesday, June 25, 2013

British Museum in London

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Actual date of this event: 22 June

Luke and I had NOTHING to do this past weekend. Well, when I say "nothing", I mean we had nothing planned. We were able to sleep in on Saturday morning, and then discuss our options for the day. We decided to go to a museum since London has a long list of terrific & free museums. We haven't been to many museums in our lifetime, so we thought we would give the British Museum a try as we had heard great things about it.
Outside of the entrance, but the building is much larger than this picture shows.
The lobby area
Note: Restrooms are located on each side of the lobby and the lines are long. There are restrooms inside as well.
The British Museum is free, but they do ask for donations.
The British Museum holds some 8 million pieces dedicated to human history and culture. Some pieces claim to date back to 21,000 BC. Yes, twenty-one thousand. Crazy! The museum is also home to the one and only Rosetta Stone - the stone, not the software. We spent about 3 hours in the museum, but truthfully, we were exhausted by the end of hour one. The building has something like 34 rooms... and these aren't small rooms. Each room is a country or area of the world, and the items in each room are just sort of thrown in with no logical order that we could find. It was extremely overwhelming and there is no possible way someone could go through this whole museum in one day. At first, we were looking at everything, but after that first hour, we only looked at pieces that caught our eye. So here are some that caught my eye:
above left: Sculpture of Sir Hans Sloane who established the British Museum in 1753
above right: Hercules's massive sculpture
 above: this Rattlesnake sculpture (AD 1300-1521) was located in the Mexican room. The swirly part is a mirror to show the underneath part of the sculpture.
 above: North America was all about the Native Americans. It went through the four areas of NA. I liked the Native American room, but probably because I have some Native American blood in me :-)
 above: this chair is constructed from guns collected since 1992, located in the African section
 above: The Tree of Life, also constructed from the collection of guns in Africa
 above: Luke being silly with the Chinese statues
 above: Islamic World - this room is one of the smallest in the museum. It was full of colorful tiled items like pottery and floor/wall tiles.
 above: a few Islamic coins (AD 510-668)
 above: one of the oldest areas, Assyrian Empire, early 7th century BC
 above: Nereid Monument found at Xanthos, south-west Turkey, 390-380 BC
above & below: pieces of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens, constructed between 447-438 BC

 above: This is how crowded the Rosetta Stone case was.
below: The best picture I could get of the Rosetta Stone without throwin' some bows.
Not only is the Rosetta Stone a software program to teach you another language (hahahaha), it provides understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The different scripts appear on the stone - Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Demotic, Ancient Greek - which are all very similar.

 above: The oldest pieces we found in the museum - Tomb Slab from the Old Kingdom in Ancient Egpyt, about 2150 BC
 above: An Ancient Egyptian Mummy - a cat scan showed that he was a mature adult at the time of his death, and also showed he has rings on a finger and toe and bracelets around one ankle
 above: Japanese Samurai Armour from around AD 1500-1800 
above: Many cases were temperature controlled for preservation purposes.    

Luke and I have decided that we like museums where we learn about a story of something. Our favorite museum that we have been to is the World War II Museum in New Orleans. It is absolutely amazing! If you are ever in New Orleans and are not drunk, then I highly recommend you take a day to visit. It is totally worth the admission price, and totally worth your time! Anyway, hopefully we can find a museum in London that we like. Until then, we will stick to exploring the city rather than museuming!

The British Museum has "hands on" areas where you can touch items that have been collected from around the world in hopes to get kids (and adults) more interested.


  1. Love the commentary on the pieces, it will definitely help us prioritize our London List! It is growing by the day!

  2. Tell Luke I'm liking the beard. I didn't know the Rosetta Stone was located in London. Very cool!


  3. Wahnsinnig schöne Farben und eine Landschaft zum Verlieben. Erinnert mich an ein Gemälde, ich glaub es heisst „Rainy Landscape“ von dem russischen Maler Kandansky http://WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8EWL66, welches ich auf WahooArt.com gesehen habe. Dort können Sie sich Gemälde drucken lassen oder auch handmalen lassen. Wirklich ein grossartiger Platz wo Sie die gleiche Art von Ihrem Gemälde finden können.


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