"The British Museum" British Museum Tip by antistar
British Museum, London: 318 reviews and 592 photos
Founded in an age of great discovery, and building its collection as the pre-eminent museum at the heart of the greatest empire the world has ever known, the British Museum is easily one of the best of its kind in the world. Permanent exhibits are world famous, and sometimes extremely controversial, taken as they were from countries either in the British Empire, or under British protectorate.
My personal favourite is the Rosetta Stone, the discovery of which finally allowed the translation of Egyptian hieroglyphics after years of failure. The incredible stone had the exact same text written on it in three languages of the region at that time: one well known, Greek, one obscure, Demotic, and one completely indecipherable: Hieroglyphics. With a phrase in that language now understood, the world of Ancient Egyptians opened up to historians.
The Rosetta Stone makes up just one small part of the enormous Egyptian collection. Then you have the Greek collection with the controversial Elgin Marbles, an exhibit that makes the Greeks so mad they built a museum for the Parthenon with a great empty space where the Elgin Marbles are to go if they are ever returned.
As well as exhibits from all over the empire, there's also an extensive local collection too, probably the most famous of which is the treasure of Sutton Hoo. This was one of the most incredible prehistoric discoveries, and the ceremonial helmet is a British icon recognizable by everyone. You can find that and much more in the British Museum.
And possibly the best thing of all about this museum: it's FREE.
Address: Great Russell Street, WC1
Directions: Holborn tube
Phone: +00 44 (0)20 7323 8299
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