This London museum is home to some of the world’s most priceless treasures
When it comes to the treasures of the world, this London museum should be at the top of every history buff’s list.
The British Museum is one of the most famous museums in the world. It has a permanent collection of some eight million works and is one of the largest and most comprehensive museums in the world. It was also the world’s first public museum. If you are in Washington DC, be sure to visit the Smithsonian Museums there.
Many artifacts were collected during the British Empire and today it tells the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present day. Over the museum’s 250 years of existence, it has grown and resulted in the museum separating itself from sister museums including the equally impressive Natural History Museum and British Library in London.
About the British Museum and notable artifacts
- English Museum: Over 13 million objects
- Natural History Museum: 70 million objects
- British Library: 150 million objects
- Established: 1753 (Open to the public in 1759 – First public museum)
As with all national museums in the UK, there is no admission fee. However, some of the special exhibits and tours are chargeable.
The museum also has a very large website and the largest online database of any museum artefacts in the world.
- Rosetta stone: One of the most important archaeological finds that every find is here too – this is the key that unlocked Egyptian hieroglyphics
- Sophilos vase: From Athens Around 580 to 570 BC. It is decorated with Greek myth including the wedding of Peleus and Thetis – Achilles’ parents
- The Parthenon sculptures: Around 438 to 432 BC, these are sculptures from Greece’s most famous temple
- Crouching Venus: Second century Roman marble sculpture of the much older Greek goddess Aphrodite
- Bust of Ramses the Great: From 1292 to 1189 BC and weighs an incredible 7.5 tons
- The head of Ifé: 14th to early 15th century Head of the sacred king of the West African kingdom of Ife
- Hoa Hakananai’a: Basalt statue from around 1000 to 1200 AD from Easter Island and one of a number of statues known as Moai
Egyptian Antiquities (permanent)
One of the things the British Museum is famous for is the largest and most comprehensive collection of Egyptian antiquities in the world (other than the Egyptian Museum in Cairo). While in Egypt, many of the greatest ancient Egyptian attractions can be found in the Valley of the Kings.
But it’s not just the size of the collection, it’s also the quality of the collection. It has artefacts from all eras and almost all important sites in Egypt and Sudan.
- Egyptian collection: More than 100,000 parts
- Napoleon: After the defeat of the French at the Battle of the Nile, Egyptian antiquities were confiscated by the British
Temporary exhibition: Peru – A journey through time
One of their temporary exhibitions is Peru – A Journey Through Time and it enters the vibrant world of ancient Peru. It looks at how people have lived for millennia in an environment that is one of the most complex and difficult in the world.
It covers the beliefs, history and cultural achievements of the peoples who lived there from around 2500 BC until the fatal arrival of Europeans in the 1500s, and then the legacy that followed.
Find out how the Incas thrived in an environment comprising some of the driest deserts on the planet and the highest elevations. See how the Inca approach to agriculture, energy, economy and time was so different from ours.
- Dated: Nov 11, 2021 – Feb 20 2022
- Open: Every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Friday 8:30 p.m.)
- Adults: From £ 15 ($ 20)
Temporary exhibition: Hokusai, the big picture book of everything
Cross the edge of the world with this exhibition in Japan. This temporary exhibition focuses on the drawings of Katsushika Hokusai, one of Japan’s most famous artists. He is best known for this work The great wave (correctly called Under the wave off Kanagawa). The great wave is also exposed.
The exhibition features 103 drawings recently acquired by Hokusai made between 1820 and the 1840s. He produced them for an illustrated encyclopedia for The Great Picture Book of Everything. Strangely enough, this book was never printed.
Learn about Hokusai’s masterful brushstroke and see how he portrayed scenes from Buddhist India, ancient China, and the natural world.
- Dated: September 30, 2021 – January 30, 2022
- Open: Every day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Friday 8 p.m.)
- Adults: From £ 9 ($ 13)
Guided Tour: Around the World in 70 Minutes
This guided tour is a tour of the British Museum that explores some of the most famous objects on display and is a guided tour of the highlights. Learn about Lewis’s chess characters, contemplate ancient texts on the Rosetta Stone (which was the key to unlocking the language of the pharaohs), and more.
- When: Departure at 11:30 am and 2:00 pm
- Duration: 70 minutes
- Cost: £ 14 ($ 19)
There is so much to see and explore at the British Museum, but it is likely to be lost for all but the most learned historians. It is highly recommended to have a guide in this remarkable museum.
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