The British Museum is one of the world’s leading museums with a remarkable collection spanning thousands of years. In short, it tells the epic story of human civilisation.
Let’s see what we can find. First up a codebreaker in the form of the Rosetta Stone, which shone a light on the long-lost language of Egyptian hieroglyphs. Until it was heaved from the earth 200 years ago, we had no idea how to read this beautiful and very visual script. Its discovery gave us a route into the very heart of Egyptian life.
Close by is an Egyptian ruler who knew how to play the game – his name was Rameses II. He was an incredibly successful Pharaoh, had a huge wives club and ruled Egypt for almost 70 years. A brilliant self-publicist, he fully understood the power of the image.
From Egypt we cross to Greece and the stunning sculptures from the Parthenon – some of the finest examples of classical Greek art the world has seen. They take us back to a golden age for Athens and Greece.
And then a world tour – there are impressive Winged Bulls, guardians to a Royal City, helmets worn by Roman gladiators, statues from Easter Island and you may well lose your heart to the Lions killed in a Royal Lion Hunt.
Along the way, we’ll find many links to the past – an 800-year old chess set discovered buried in the sand of a Scottish island, a 1903 coin defaced with the slogan ‘Votes for Women’ and the fabulous treasure from an Anglo Saxon burial ship.
Perhaps the most compelling galleries though are those which contain the Egyptian mummies – people who walked this Earth thousands of years before us and whose elaborate preparations for the afterlife still echo through our lives today.
Did you know?
- The Sutton Hoo Helmet, which lay buried for centuries in the ghost of a 30-metre long oak ship, is a visual puzzle which has two possible ‘solutions’.
- The British Museum is older than the USA: founded in 1753, it opened its doors in 1759, 17 years before the Declaration of Independence.
If you want to know more, you’ll have to book a tour.