The British Museum - London
The British Museum is considered the UK’s top museum and also one of the most famous museums in the world!
Home too many high-profile artefacts including the Rosetta Stone, Egyptian mummies, Elgin’s Marbles and many more. And the best part? It’s free! Yes, free, which means
you have no excuse not to visit the museum.
Whether you’re looking for something to do on a rainy day or you are a keen history and visiting London, The British Museum is the perfect place to spend several hours wandering around the permanent exhibition. Taking a trip through the ages of Egypt, Greece, Africa, Mexico and more.
Even if you are not an avid history buff, I am sure the dates and stories behind many of the pieces will blow your mind. I mean, the fact that many of the items are over 4,000 years old and are standing there right before your eyes amazes me.
Below are some of the highlights in the British Museum that you must not miss!
Welcoming you as soon as you step inside the permanent exhibition is the Rosetta Stone. Dating back to 196 BC the Rosetta Stone was found in 1799 and is famous around the world for it been possible to have deciphered the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Being as the writing on the stone is in two languages (Egyptian and Greek), it was possible for the Greek to be read and therefore the translation of the Egyptian hieroglyphics were able to be deciphered.
King Ramesses II
This statue of King Ramesses II dates back to around 1250 BC. Crazy! King Ramesses II is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated and powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom according to his Wikipedia page. Ramesses fathered 85 children with several Queens during his 66-year reign... juggling that and ruling a Kingdom, busy Ramesses!
The Parthenon Marbles
Known famously as Elgin’s Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, are a collection of the 2500-year-old stone sculptures that were originally part of the temple of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis. There is quite a lot of controversy as to how they have ended up in London. Lord Elgin acquired them between 1801-1805 with (apparent) permission from the Turks who then controlled Athens during the Ottoman Empire.
Since 1932 – apart from the years they were sheltered at Aldwych underground station to avoid being damaged during the war. They have remained at the British Museum.
The Hoa Hakanana’a
The Hoa Hakananai’a statue was taken from Orongo, Easter Island in 1868 by the crew of a British ship - HMS Topaze. It was gifted to Queen Victoria who later gifted it to the museum.
The statue is made out of basalt and it has the typical features of an Easter Island statues.
The statue instantly reminded me of the images you see of Easter Island and I knew right away it was from there. It is pretty remarkable.
The North America gallery explores the different cultural identities of Native North American people.
The is display of traditional dress, ceremonial headwear and tools amongst many other things is so interesting!
There are roughly 80,000 objects on public display at the British Museum and even after 4 hours, it felt like I had only seen a smidgen of what there was to see.
The best thing for me during my visit to the museum is many stories it takes your imagination through. The artefacts give you an insight as to how the world may have once looked thousands of years ago and how the people of those days lived.