English Astronomers: The British Museum

Posted by David Eicher
on Monday, August 12, 2013

On Saturday, August 10, 2013, the travelers on Astronomy’s English Astronomers tour had a free day in London to choose from numerous activities. I opted for one of my favorite places in Europe, the British Museum, which has one of the greatest collections of antiquities on Earth. There’s not a great deal of astronomical content in the museum, as many of these instruments are in other museums in the area. But the course in archaeology, ancient cultures, and European history one gets on a walk through the museum is staggering.

British Museum, London, England, August 10, 2013 // Credit: David J. Eicher
As I was nearly finished, scouting the last exhibits back near the museum’s main entrance, I shot an image and my camera gave an unfamiliar beep. I looked down to see that I had a full memory card — I had taken 350 pictures in the museum, in the course of a few hours.

I’ve shared a few of them in the gallery for this trip. What a mesmerizing world it is to stand in front of the Rosetta Stone; to see Lindow Man, one of the great bog bodies; to see the world class Egyptian collection that is perhaps the best outside Cairo. I was entranced, of course, by the Elgin Marbles and the related antiquities from the Parthenon in Athens. The rebuilt Nereid Monument from ancient Turkey is always a showpiece. Roman and Greek artifacts had me going for hours, and there’s no doubt I could have chosen archaeology as a passion in an alternate life.

I urge you to see the British Museum when you are in London. It really is one of the great treasures on the planet, and it will change the way you look at the world.

For all the photos of the English Astronomers tour, visit our Trips & Tours page.

Related blogs:

English Astronomers: Touring London
English Astronomers: The Royal Observatory Greenwich

Tags: England
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