We decided to visit the
British Museum. We walked as it was pretty close to our
hotel. After arriving, we were struck with a sense of
awe. First due to the intense crowds and second due to
the size and scope of the facility. Many one word
adjectives crossed my mind like "wow", "immense", "astounding"
and the like.
The photos below are what we saw.
The entrance foyer was
immense and there were tons of visitors. It was Sunday
and the tour buses were arriving at a furious pace disgorging
waves of tourists from all countries.
Kathleen decided that we
would start with the Egyptian exhibit. The artifacts
were impressive and the scope extensive. This bust
suffered quite a bit of damage over the years but it was not
clear if the damage was due to excavation and transport or was
done earlier by grave robbers.
Some of the damage was
just due to the passage of time.
Noting the neck, this bust
was removed from a larger piece for transport to the museum.
This column was part of the structural support
of one of the palaces. The crowds were sufficiently thick to make taking
photos quite hard.
Manny, Moe and Jack.
There was a huge lintel
that was clearly broken into segments for transport to the
This sarcophagus was
massive and fully intact. It is made out of red granite.
Given the early date of
creation, the workmanship of the artists was incredible.
This statue was intact and
impressive due to its size. Transport must have been
Due to the intense
crowding in the Egyptian exhibit we moved on to the Assyrian
area. This statue is massive and covered in cuneiform
writing declaring how great the king was.
These pieces were a relief
Most of the reliefs were
adorned with repetitive cuneiform statements about the
greatness of the current ruler.
patterns of the hair and beards were a hallmark of this period.
This relief did not fare
well in the excavation and transport to the museum. Many
depicted scenes of hunting. This scene
shows use of a net to capture deer.
Lion hunts were a
repeating theme on many of the larger pieces.
We moved on to the Greek
exhibit and were rewarded with even denser crowds. This
piece is in quite good shape except for whatever she was
holding in her hand.
This fellow has suffered
many indignities and many of the male statues were missing noses
in addition to other obvious damage. I wonder if the
missing noses were the source of the term "being defaced".
Carving the intense detail
in these works must have been very, very time consuming and
required a great deal of skill.
These boys are headed into
battle with their sheilds.
During the excavation of
one of the sites,
the whole temple was dismantled and shipped to the
museum. While some may call this cultural rape or
robbery, I think it was a direct result of the power of
their empire at the time.
These works were highly
There were a number of
panels that showed battle with a minotaur. This fellow
is about to be beheaded and is grabbing a rock in his left
hand as the last act of defense.
I found the striations of
the facial muscles interesting and very life-like.
We moved higher in the museum and got a view
of the crowds from the circular staircase.
The second portion of the
Egyptian exhibit was on the upper floors. The crowds
here were so tight that this was the only photo I was able to
take. The large number of people in the tight quarters
raised the temperature in the room to an uncomfortable level given
This bust was in perfect
condition except for the discoloration which was likely water
We moved to the upper levels
of the museum to escape the dense crowds and that there was an exhibit of
Napoleonic cartoons generally lampooning his rule.
The exhibit was quite dark due to fear of light discoloring
the old ink and paper, but this panel was representative
of many of the works.
We finally saturated and started looking
for the exit. We left on an alternate route than our
ingress and stumbled upon this huge
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2015, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.