Culture and History: A trip to the British Museum

So after Last week started with this…

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We had to postpone out trip to the British Museum. So after a week of healing, this week we headed out to check out one of the most famous museums in the world. Not to be confused with the Natural History Museum–that will be fore a later date– The British Museum originally started in 1753 with the collection of Sir Hans Sloane. It was housed in the Montagu House up until 1823 when their vast collection became too much for the building. So at this point the construction of what we know as the British Museum Building began. It opened and officially finished in April of 1847 completely, though it was built wing by wing over time. When I look at this building and how much it holds.. I have to say, I am not all that surprised they ran out of room. But even so, they ended up having to convert some of their collection to a whole new museum–the Natural History Museum, see that is separate– relieving some of the congestion in 1881.

We started going through the Mesopotamia and went through to Babylon. There were so many features of not just pots and statues but also things like jewelry, games, and decor that was common during this time.

The layout flowed so well, that before we knew it, we had found our way walking through time from Ancient Iran and South Arabia through the Middle East to Europe dating from 1050 all the way to present day. There was an exhibit that showed the growth of money and even a fascinating exhibit on clocks, some that dated back to 1377!

As it started getting late, our last exhibit for this day was the Japanese Culture. It was one of the more dimly lighted areas of the museum because of all the delicate material and pigments that can be easily damaged under harsh lights. Because of this, they also frown on taking photos in this area.

They follow history from Ancient Japan to Medieval Japan and its religious tradition to the Edo period and the Samurais to Modern Japan. My favorite part of this exhibit was the demonstration of the Japanese tea ceremony in a traditional tea house that they actually had people come from Japan to build it in the Museum.

Overall, the day was filled with demonstrations, history and culture. Because it was SO huge, I have to do the whole museum in two days rather than one. So stay tuned for the next Culture and History: The British Museum Part two where we will be seeing such exhibits as the Sunken cities of Egypt’s los worlds and Sicily culture and conquest.

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