This post is going to consist of mostly pictures. There was so MUCH at the British Museum that I could have stayed there 24 hours and still not have gotten all the way through it. I will say that I SAW THE ROSETTA STONE! I pushed my way through the crowd of people and tried to manage my claustrophobia as I made it towards the front. I studied it for a minute with the people behind me complaining that their son or daughter NEEDED a picture with it and would I be so kind to take it for them. Bleh. Although I wish I could have seen everything in the Museum I did make it to the Egyptian Sculpture, Athens and Lycia, Greek Vases and Parthenon, Living and Dying, North America, and Africa exhibits.
In the beginning I was certainly the most excited to see the mummies but that turned out to be a slight disappointment because there were so many darn people! I would love to visit a museum during the week when there are less people and more time to sit and appreciate everything. Granted, the mummies were still really cool. There were just too many children putting their hands all over the glass cases with parents nearby snapping pics. Wow I’m really hating on children today.
It was absolutely mind-blowing seeing parts of the Parthenon and other ancient sculptures. The British Museum has nearly half of the remaining sculptures from the Parthenon. Most of these are Elgin Marbles which refer to a collection of stone objects from Lord Elgin. They were purchased for the British Museum with a grant voted by Parliament. Seeing all of the old sculptures that had been around in such ancient times was so crazy. I almost felt like they had to be fake seeing them behind such a thin little rope that wouldn’t stop anyone from reachin out to brush their hand along them. After all, these were carved thousands of years ago! Life was so different back then. Here I am sitting on my bed typing on a laptop- a laptop! I was snapping pics on my PHONE of these ancient pieces. How technology changes over the course of time! Yet without even the slightest piece of modern technology they managed to create things that I couldn’t dream of.
The Living and Dying exhibit was fascinating. There was a long glass table full of photos and in the middle were pills. The expanse of pills had to be at least thirty feet long and ten feet wide. The photos surrounding the pills moved me. Pictures of people doing things. Friends, children, funerals, the entire essence of what life- and death is. The purpose was to show the fragility of life. How fleeting it really is. How modern medicine has changed the length of people’s formerly short existences on this earth. It made me so uncomfortable and so alive all at the same time.
The African Exhibit was incredible. I have always been interested in African culture and seeing the history from many different centuries there gave me a much more educated viewpoint on all of it. It is beautiful yes, but there was artwork that was also so heartbreaking. There was a giant sculpture titled “The Tree of Life”. It was made entirely from guns from one of their civil wars. At the end of the war the people were given the opportunity to give up their weapons and have them replaced with tools like sewing machines, plows, and other useful devices. The sculpture was incredible but also a reminder of what the past had been like- and still is in some cases in Africa.
The British Museum was absolutely incredible. I hope to go back someday because there were so many exhibits I didn’t get around to seeing.