November 19, 2013

London Travelogue: Day 4, British Museum

17. Oct, 2013
Day 4 was so full that I've been intimidated to attempt to chronicle the highlights.  I'll have to tackle it one venue at a time, starting with the British Museum.  This post has been simmering away in my mind, and I've been researching more from home, so hopefully I can do the day justice.

I was up and out early, and hit the British Museum.  It is an enormous building, and holds the most amazing objects from around the world.  These guard statues from Assyria were incredible!  The rediscovered ancient Assyrian palaces are such a treasure.  I'm in awe of ancient people: the depth of their accomplishments impresses me here-and-now!

Assyrian Palace guard statues, palace friezes in background.  © Neil Howard
I saw the Rosetta stone, and geeked out over the cuneiform exhibit.  It's interesting to see how practical the introduction of language was: the first clay cuneiform tokens marked the contents of storage containers, then agricultural transactions.  The pictograms eventually rotated 90 degrees and became more abstract.  A key to cracking cuneiform, and hieroglyphics, was realizing that the symbols represent syllables rather than full words.

I really enjoyed the ancient Egypt section, especially the early mummies.  It's amazing that this young man's body has been preserved for almost 6,000 years.  He made ancient Egypt relatable to me in a way that preserved mummies and sarcophagi did not.

"Gebelein Man"
The Parthenon sculptures and friezes are beautiful, and seeing a Parthenian column demonstrates the temple's tremendous size.  This sculpture of reclining goddesses retains some original paint:

Three Goddesses of Athenian Parthenon

The British Museum used to house the British Library, with the Reading Room its hub.  Now used for special exhibits, here's a panoramic photo as it was:

I think that heaven must look like this
The British Museum's covered courtyard, and Reading Room at center:

Central Courtyard, © Greg Knapp
The British Museum is a jewel, and I wish I'd had more than one day to wander through it.  What I did see, I loved.  The courtyard is a fascinating place, blending exterior and interior.

1 comment:

  1. The preserved body seems amazing, and I'm stunned at how great the Assyrian palace statues look after so long! It seems like they should be weathered away or something! The British Library looks nothing short of beautiful.


I adore comments! Thanks for taking the time :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...