Tuesday, August 16, 2022

London Day 2 The British Museum

So on Day 2, we got up, had a breakfast at a Bagel shop we had walked by the day before - B Bagel, touted as the best bagels in London. Kids insisted.

Interestingly, the Brits look at you completely blankly if you order a lox and cream cheese bagel, instead, it is called a Spanner over there.  

Actually, they call it a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, but that's about the same thing, really. The Bagels were actually quite good.

Having had coffee and bagels we then marched forth to the British Museum.   Enough of shopping, I demanded that we needed to get some culture in and see the world's greatest museum.  This then led to negotiations over the amount of time to be spent in the museum.  I began at all day, and they started at 10 minutes, and we came to an accord after I was outvoted 3-1 on my demand for an all-day visit, but at least got a couple hours more than 10 minutes.

The British Museum, like most of London, lacks air conditioning, so it got rather warm with all the visitors inside.  Some rooms had floor-mounted fans going, but most did not.

Of course Abby, being a tad woke as a pending University student, decried the British Museum as holding stolen colonial artifacts.

I had the rather perfect meme to retort:

Rather gets the point across eh? The whole "stolen colonized artifacts" argument tends to be rather simplistic and ignorant of history and how the artifacts were discovered by archeologists in the first place and what happened to artifacts not in the British Museum.  I reckon the Bamiyan Buddhas would have concurred.

Especially so, as we saw the Statute of Ramses II from the meme in person:


He's quite a bit bigger and even more imposing person, too.

The British museum is a definite must-see if you end up in London.  The collection is amazing.  It's basically Mecca for a student of history.

You can see hundreds of some of the earliest surviving examples of human writing in cuneiform on clay tablets:

And of course, the Rosetta Stone that led to the translation of hieroglyphics (terrible picture but it was surrounded by a mob and one German lady in particular that insisted on standing right in front of it trying to take a pic with her Android phone and being annoyed that she kept getting reflections from the glass):

At the museum you can visit your mummies:


You can see the huge Winged Lions that guarded the entrance way to the palace of Ashurbanipal II at Nimrud from 883-859 BC:

Here's some people beside one for scale:

If the Egyptians and Assyrians are too old for you, they have classical Greek and Roman exhibits aplenty.

Hundreds of Greek Vases and urns were on display.

A statute of Pericles of Athens takes one to the History of the Peloponnesian War:

Moving on, the Roman collection was extensive.  Here's a Roman Gladius:

A bust of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius, and many more busts of Roman Emperors were all about the exhbit halls:

And of course, Roman coins, such as this Eid Mar ("Ides of March")  Denarius, struck by Brutus, commemorating his assassination of Julius Caesar.

That coin alone is worth over $300,000.  Nicely on display for the world to see and enjoy its fascinating history, which is priceless.

Moving on in time, the helmet from the Sutton Hoo Ship burial site, one of only 4 known helmets to survive from the early Anglo-Saxon Period in England was on display. A reconstruction of the helmet is to the left in the picture.

Everyone likes Vikings, right? (At least you do when they're not raiding, pillaging, and burning your belongings and residences to the ground anyway, eh)?

An exhibit of a Viking sword, axe, and spearhead:

Viking hacksilver, silver bowls, and coins from their trade and pillaging.

In short, you could spend days at the British Museum and not see it all. These pictures are but pittance of the artifacts and displays from those time periods alone, much less the entire contents of the museum with its massive sweep of history.

If you visit London, a tour of the British Museum is an absolute must.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

You can spend DAYS there and still not see everything...