‘A museum is a place where one should lose one’s head.’
Said Renzo Piano once.
And then he went and built The Shard.
In truth, he was talking about Versailles or the French Revolution Section of any museum, where more than one person lost their head but right here, right now, we’re gonna cross the Channel and take the Tube to Tottenham Court Road and pop right into…..
The British Museum.
Stop No.1: Egypt
That’s Rameses II, strong entry, third Pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, often called ‘Rameses The Great’.
One curious thing in this statue is the hole near his right shoulder. No one exactly told me why that’s really there. I’m pretty sure Rameses didn’t die of gunshot wounds, so maybe it’s a secret portal through which his soul descends upon the present day world. If anyone finds themselves being able to read hieroglyphics all of a sudden, we’ll know just what it is. May the power of Ra compel you.
Fact: That hole was actually made when the French tried to move the bust to France. Yet, it may be a portal.
Up next was the Rosetta Stone. Now, I don’t have pictorial evidence because I guess that wasn’t allowed when I visited but I do have this very cool key-ring of the Stone.
This stone was broken off a larger slab and helped archaeologists decipher hieroglyphics. Today, we have a Rosetta Stone app that helps us learn languages but that’s pre-historical Duolingo right there.
Finishing the Egypt section is this tomb. I’m going to ignore the fact that it’s open but you know the warning signs.
Right then, onto the people who truly lost their heads….
Stop No.2: Greece
This may be another thing Mr. Piano was talking about….
Here’s one thing I don’t understand. What’s with the headless statues?! We’ve got evidence in Troy the movie where Brad Pitt decapitates Apollo’s statue but that just made things worse. Why would one do something that only ends in nightmare for oneself?
These statues are supposed to be Greek Goddesses. How anyone knows that is a mystery but archaeology is an art.
Still, I think Mr. Piano meant metaphorical loss of head. The Oracle probably predicted things way too literally.
That’s Aphrodite by Lely. Head intact. Thank God.
Alright, who’s into horses?
This horse was one of the chariot group surmounting the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
And that’s the Mausoleum ft. Headless Statues of certain Gods.
Sometimes, I feel that the Ancients were way too brutal. I mean, apart from the Pyramids and Petra, all these Ancient Wonders have been destroyed. Talk of The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, this mausoleum, Colossus of Rhodes, and even the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Imagine having a cruise ship at night, past the Colossus of Rhodes. That would be stuff of legends. Our ancients were a bunch of brutal boomers.
Alright, now for some Halloween Stuff….
Here’s presenting, Stop No.3:
Alright, I have no idea why the Egyptian Mummies aren’t in the Egyptian section but this includes all the four ancient civilisations. Basically, these dead guys are the advent of our ancestry.
Pots, pans and skeletons. I don’t understand why anyone would put the skeletons with the pots and pans but then again, like ancestor, like successor, right?
This is a Mesopotamian tomb. Found at Ur, Mesopotamia. Notice how this one isn’t open….I guess there won’t be any surprise Sumerian discourse unless you’ve voluntarily learnt it.
Don’t get me wrong, Mummies are cool but once you look at Mummy exhibits, it makes you feel a bit dingy and claustrophobic. Maybe it’s the overall atmosphere of death but it’s really weird. Like, I was most excited to see Mummies at the British Museum but once I saw it, I can’t say I was too impressed.
Bonus: Souvenirs include lip gloss in a mummy case.
This one seemed very intact.
Lastly, we’ve got this bloke named the Gebelein Man.
If you look closely, you can actually see hair! Actual, white hair.
Archaeology is one damn rollercoaster! You go dig, dig, dig and boom! You’ve got your ancestor facing you!
Fun. Big Fun.
End of tour!
Pro tip: Once you leave the British Museum, there’s a cart selling Caramel Peanuts. Makes for a great end to an extensive museum hunt.
And that is a wrap!
Until next time,