The British Museum

by CameronM Wed, September 10 2003 07:33

Sick of job searching and excited by what classmates had raved about as the next best thing to Cairo or Rome, I headed to the British Museum. After shelling out 2 quid for a colour version of a map I later found out was available in black & white for free, I walked from the dark entry into a sea of light, with clean modern lines and a brightness that really takes you breath away.

Further investigation revealed that the recent addition of the opaque roof had opened up an area previously restricted from public use and made an awesome space where the modern facilities such as toilets, cafe shops and the like could be catered for, while enhancing the old circular reading room building. Inside the domed reading room were countless books where scholars and revolutionaries alike had researched plotted and read.

the domed reading of the British Museam where countless revolutionaries alike had researched plotted and read

The recent opaque roof had unlocked more public space

After enjoying the Great Court I headed for the Greek and Roman exhibits where I quickly discovered I preferred architecture and ruins more than isolated artefacts totally devoid of context. After forcing myself to view the contents of several of the enclosed glass cases and read the accompanying artefact notes, I found myself quickly moving through the next rooms looking for something 'really interesting'. Perhaps unlike my learned classmates (University of Queensland - Ancient History), these lonely artefacts simply didn't hold any meaning to me. Perhaps I should have been taking a greater interest in those 'Coins and Papyrus' classes. I couldn't put my finger on it, but something just didn't work for me. Maybe I'm used to the multi-media Discovery Channel documentaries that tie the artefacts in with the location and the archaelogical digs.

I soon found myself on a rapid journey around the world, passing by the Ancient Near East and straight onto Egypt and some 'gooey mummies'. Several of the poor buggers had been unearthed and were now on display for all to see. I don't think this is what the Egyptians had in mind when they prepared people for the after-life. I for one would have avoided being so well preserved if it meant every person on the planet could come and stare at my shrivelled and contorted features. Even so I still thought it OK to take a photo (or 2) - you know "do as I say not as I do".

gooey mummies for all to see

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UK