The British Museum has done so much to the world of art just like its contemporaries located in various parts of the world. It is indeed a treasure house for historians and art lovers alike due to its immense collection of historical artifacts and artworks from the early stages of civilization. Moreover, the museum is renowned for its noble contribution of propagating art among the masses unlike any other museum in the world.
The number of visitors that arrive here annually stands equal to other great museums in the world. Due to this, many British Museum guided tour programs operates regularly ferrying visitors into this museum. From students to researcher and art scholars, the British Museum is the perfect place to know in detail about the early stages of human civilization. Below are some of the well-known things put up on display at the British Museum.
The Rosetta Stone
Located in Gallery 4 on the ground floor, the Rosetta Stone is one of the key attractions of the British Museum. Originated from ancient Egypt, it is a pronouncement written down by the priests on the Pharaoh Ptolemy V’s first anniversary. It has been the chief artifact used by researchers in unraveling the mysteries of the Egyptian Hieroglyphics. The three languages written down in the tablet has aided scholars in translating the hieroglyphs. Discovered in 1799, Britain got hold of the stone after the defeat of Napoleon under the Treaty of Alexandria.
The British Museum holds an amazing collection of mummified cats from ancient Egypt. Cats occupied a central place in Egyptian mythology and were worshiped as equivalent to the gods. This collection of cat mummies is a true delight for researchers and the general visitors alike and offers a peek into the life in ancient Egypt.
Amenhotep III Granite Head
The huge granite head of the Egyptian Pharaoh, Amenhotep III is displayed in the British Museum. First discovered in around 1817, the British Museum brought this piece from the archeologist Henry Salt in 1823. It features have numerous alterations, which were made by Ramses II the ruler of Egypt from 1279-1213 BC.
The Hoa Hakananai’a is an Easter Island ancestor statue that had its origins around 1200 AD. Commodore Richard Ashmore Powell the captain of HMS Topaz acquired it in an expedition made in 1869. The Lords of the Admiralty presented it to Queen Victoria, which was then handed over to the British Museum.