Fun in the British Museum

The last time I visited London, I only had time for a very short trip to the British Museum before I had to dash to the Royal Festival Hall in order to swoon over … eh … enjoy watching Adam Cooper sing and dance in ON YOUR TOES. Because of that, I only really looked at some of the highlights on the ground floor, e.g. the Stone of Rosetta and the Elgin Marbles (hey, I knew I would like to use them in a novel one day! *g*). On the way to the Elgin Marbles I hurried through one of the Assyrian rooms — and imagine my surprise when I suddenly came face to face with two creatures from one of my favourite children’s novel!

The two sphinxes guarding the Great Riddle Gate in Michael Ende’s NEVERENDING STORY! It was the most extraordinary feeling, and my heart was in my throat when I walked between them — as if those two big stone statues could really do away with me with a glimpse from their eyes.

Of course, I visited them again this time, but my main destination were the European and British Galleries. And these proved to be wonderfully exciting, too, especially the rooms covering the pre-historical eras and the early Middle Ages. After having taught our British history course so many times, walking through these galleries was like walking through the first chapter of our “from the ice age to Maggie Thatcher in nine weeks” journey. 🙂 And best of all: I found the Beaker People!

The Beaker people buried their dead in individual graves, and among the grave goods was usually a pot made of clay. The name of the cultural era, derives from the distinctive shape of these beakers. I hadn’t been able to find any decent picture and proper information about the Beaker people before, so this was a great find for me. 🙂

There were also Celtic artefacts to admire (though the Lindow man was away on loan to some other museum — grrr), like weapons and this nice helmet.

And when I came across these little chaps in the early medieval section, I couldn’t help thinking of Laura. *waving to Laura*

Aren’t they adorable? You can find out more about the Lewis chessmen here and here.

5 thoughts on “Fun in the British Museum

  1. Laura Vivanco

    when I came across these little chaps in the early medieval section, I couldn’t help thinking of Laura.

    I really liked this bit of the Wikipedia description of the chessmen: “all of the human figures have decidedly glum expressions (other than three rooks, which are shown as berserkers, wild-eyed and biting their shields with battle fury).”

    Some days, I alternate between those two expressions too! 😉 I’ve been paying far too much attention to US politics and not getting enough work done. No biting of shields or horseback manoeuvres for me, though.

  2. The Tudor Rose

    It’s hard to make out precisely what he’s saying (French not being my first language), but from what I CAN make out, the gist is pretty much that the Hippo going on about how awesome this move is going to be and how he’s going to kick butt and such… 🙂

    Hi, Sandy! I’m not doing too badly…

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