The British Museum in London, is a definite must-see for all first-timers in London. Most of us have the famed Madam Tussaud’s , Tower of London or the Buckingham Palace on our lists. Add this museum as well.
The British Museum houses treasures from the Roman to the Greeks and the Incas, Mesopotamia, China as well as India. However, I am not going to talk of all today. It is just going to be the Egyptian section that I found fascinating here. More so,as I had just finished reading the Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles – a series based on Egyptian Mythology.
The Rosetta Stone
Let me start with the key to the Roman hieroglyphs – The Rosetta Stone. This is literally a guide to deciphering the Roman inscriptions and was found over 3000 years old. The original Roman script has always been a challenge for most historians while the Greek script was a lot more decipherable. This stone has inscriptions in the original Roman script and the Greek script, making this stone a key to translating a lot of Egyptian history.
This part was the actual highlight of my visit. The Museum houses an actual Mummy, in various forms of unwrap. The picture below shows the skeleton found within the unwrapped Mummy.
The entire process of Mummy-making has been well documented and displayed, making it even more interesting for the visitors. There are different X’rays that clearly demonstrate the preservation of some internal organs of the deceased. It is quite fascinating to know that the process of Mummification was an elaborate one where most of the internal organs were embalmed and replaced within the body.There are some interesting videos on their website, talking of this discovery. Click here to view them.
Along with the Mummy in the Cask, the Egyptians generally buried several other artifacts that they believed would make life easy for the dead in their afterlife. From coins to vases to little statues of servants (Shabtis) have been found and displayed in this section. I of course, found the Shabtis interesting as they were quite unique in their make and played a major role in the Kane Chronicles. To simply say, Shabtis are small human figures that are imbibed with a spell to ensure that they help the deceased in their after-life.
Other Egyptian Artifacts
One can really have lots of fun here, kids inclusive as there are several engaging points and interactive sessions in the museum. What is more is that most statues are in open, making it a great photography subject.
All in all, more than an educative tour, it is an entertaining way of knowing more about Egyptian history but not really, traveling to Egypt.
Getting to the British Museum:
- The British Museum is conveniently connected by the Tube and this by far, is the best way to reach here. Take the London Tube to the Tottenham Court Road or Holborn or Russell Square.
- There are buses available as well. The various bus routes can be planned by clicking here.
- Here is the official website for the British Museum
- The entry to the museum is free for all. A small donation is requested – but the same is at your will
- The Museum is open on all days from 10:00 till 17:30, except on Fridays, when it is open till 20:30
- Audio tours are available at the Museum and it would be good to take them. There is a cost to this facility.
- Make a note of the events for the day as they are quite interesting and unique.
- The museum is well organized and quite huge. Hence, plan well to have enough time to cover the same.
- Wear comfortable shoes as it can be a long day on your feet.
- Food and water is available here. There are some good restaurants serving snacks and meals .