The British Museum in London

This is a throwback post to my trip in London in 2016 and photos posted go back to then.

Explore the British Museum, a public museum dedicated to human history, art and culture on Great Russell St in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection of eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. The British Museum was the first public national museum in the world.

The Reading Room and Great Court

Upon entering the main entrance, you’ll be greeted by a big round building in the middle of the museum. The domed Reading Room at the heart of the Museum was completed in 1857 and originally housed the Museum’s library.

The Reading Room is now enclosed by the Great Court, which was added in 2000. Lord Norman Foster designed the space, which transformed the Museum’s inner courtyard into the largest covered public square in Europe.

Explore more than 60 galleries in 5 sections in the museum: Africa, Americas, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and Rome, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Themes.

Due to time constraints, I could only cover a few galleries.

Ancient Egypt

The Ancient Egypt section is in Room 4 on the ground floor or level 0.

The collection from ancient Egypt and Sudan illustrates every aspect of the ancient Nile Valley culture from Neolithic times (about 10,000 BC), down to Late Antiquity when Christianity became the main religion in Egypt (around AD 400-800).

Middle East

Next to Ancient Egypt on the ground floor is the Middle East section. Rooms 6 to 10 hold collections and galleries from the Middle East.

This collection covers the ancient and contemporary civilisations and cultures of the Middle East from the Neolithic period until the present. There is a wide range of archaeological material and ancient art from Mesopotamia (Iraq), Iran, the Levant (Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel), Anatolia (Turkey), Arabia, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Highlights of the collection include Assyrian reliefs, treasure from the Royal Cemetery of Ur, the Oxus Treasure, Phoenician ivories and King Ashurbanipal’s library of cuneiform tablets from Nineveh in northern Iraq. 

Ancient Greece and Rome

Moving on from the Middle East in Room 6 is Ancient Greece and Rome galleries.

The Greek and Roman galleries display objects from the Bronze Age until the fall of Rome (about 3200 BC to AD 476). They show the expansion of the Greek world across the Mediterranean and beyond the growth of increasingly powerful Italian cultures, and their coming together in the Roman Empire.

The displays of Greek art span over 1500 years. They illustrate the development of sophisticated ceramics, showing scenes from myth and daily life, and the emergence of realism in sculpting the human form.

Asia

From the North stairs and the lift, we head up to level 2 and 5, where a part of the Asia section are.

The British Museum holds one of the richest collections of Chinese antiquities in Europe, containing many examples of Chinese painting, calligraphy, jades, bronzes and ceramics. The Chinese collection ranges from 4000 BC to the present.

The Japanese collections are particularly strong in paintings, prints and decorative arts from AD 1600 to the present.


The British Museum in open daily. For full opening hours of the museum, exhibitions, shops, cafes, restaurants, library, archive, and study room – click here.

Monday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM – 8:30 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

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