Saturday, 2 November 2019

British Museum

Interior of the British Museum
The Great Court, Entrance Hall and Glass Roof.
Thursday October 31, 2019.

With school half-term upon us, we decided to take the girls on a trip to London, for a few days. 

Our first stop, after lunch, was the British Museum. It was a museum that I had never visited, but had always been on my list of places to visit. As Erin (7) was learning about the Egyptians, at school, it seemed like the perfect time to visit. 

We entered from the Montague Place entrance, and headed directly into the Wellcome Trust Gallery, which had a display of 'Living and Dying'. From here went to the North America and then the Mexico collection. 

From here we entered the Great Court, now enclosed in a wonderful glass roof, where stone artefacts from Egypt and China could be seen. A cafe and gift shop, surrounding the Reading Room, were busy with customers, so we continued into the Egyptian Room. Stone tablets, bearing hieroglyphs, adorned the walls, while stone statues stood in silent majesty, gazing back at the throng of visitors. Sculptures, temples, pillars as a Sarcophagus were also easily accessible.

We then headed to the Middle East, beginning with Assyrian sculptures and Balawat Gates, before travelling through Ancient Greece. From the Minoans and Mycenaeans to the Lycia. From Alexander the Great to the Romans. Vases, sculptures, Mausoleums, monuments and the Parthenon were all on show, in all of their awe-inspiring beauty. 

Back into the Great Court, we caught a lift to the third floor, where we crossed the bridge, from the Great Court Restaurant, and entered the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Galleries, which showcased more of the Middle East. From South Arabia to Anatolia and Uratu and on to Mesopotamia and Levant, there was a lot to take in.

Then we were on to the highlight, for us, of the visit. Ancient Egypt.

Sarcophagi, mummies, burial offerings and much more were all on show. This gallery reached, if not surpassed, my expectations. Erin was busy taking photos and was completely immersed in the experience, while Keilyn was happy to wander around and look at everything, with an innocents mind.

We then headed up to the Mitsubishi Corporation Galleries, where an amazing amount of Japanese culture was on display. The collection dated from around 13,500 Bc right up to the present day. From pots to figures of Buddhist deities. From Samurai armour and weapons to wooden models of animals. Chests and clothing led on to a collection from the indigenous people of Japan, the Ainu. Photography and glassware from the 20th century were also on display.

We then headed back downstairs and into the Sainsbury Galleries and its Africa exhibit. After a good look around at the various art, relics and weaponry, we were beginning to flag. But, with so much more still to see, we decided that we would return again, and so we made our way back to the Great Court and out of the museum. So we headed down Drury Lane, in search of coffee and ice cream, before continuing to our hotel and the adventure that we had planned for Halloween night.


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