The Mary Rose Museum has been on my list for a long time because I just couldn’t comprehend lifting the remains of Henry VIII’s ship from the murky depths, preserving them and having them as a centrepiece in a museum.
In 1952-54 London’s Temple of Mithras was discovered by chance on a bomb site. The response to its discovery was massive, with over 30,000 people queuing to see the excavation on some days. This brought up the question of what should happen to the remains. The site was, after all, due to be developed. Should it be incorporated into the new building or recorded enough to be taken apart? The developer stepped in with a compromise, to dismantle the temple and reconstruct it just off site.
If you’ve somehow managed to miss hearing about archaeology occurring as part of the creation of the Elizabeth Line, you must have been avoiding the news for years. This brilliant temporary exhibition highlights the key archaeological sites as well as some of the interesting finds related to the Crossrail project. Opening with a film alongside a wall painted with Crossrail facts, you’re instantly aware of the years of planning, effort and archaeology that have gone into the Cross-rail tunnel.
When you are in a foreign country and get a chance to visit a museum that gets very few overseas visitors you obviously take it. This is what I did with the Baoji Bronzeware Museum anyway.
The Roman Bath have long been on my list of ‘things I have to go and see’ – it’s a formidable list. But I’ve been staring longingly at glossy magazine style images of the green-turquoise waters for too long so I took the plunge (no I didn’t fall in).
The newly opened Jafar Gallery has nothing to do with Disney’s Aladdin, but it is full of an exotic collection of antiquities. The core of the collection consists of items gathered by an old Etonian Major William Joseph Myers, who bequeathed them to the Headmaster of Eton College upon his death at the end of the 19th century. It also includes gifts from the Duke of Newcastle, Lord Carnarvon of Tutankhamun fame and as well as items from archaeologist Leonard Woolley’s Al-Mina excavations.
When you enter a museum and you’re greeted by a smiling, happy member of staff or volunteer who straight away tries to find out if there is anything that they think might make your visit extra special, you know you are on to a good visit. It’s so simple yet rarely actually achieved, so I’ve only ever has this happen at a number of places go that extra mile, the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is one. Continue reading “Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London”
Stonehenge is one of the most iconic manmade landmarks in Britain. Not only impressive in stature, but age as well. Continue reading “Stonehenge”
Covering 500,000 years of history in a small space is not an easy task, but unperturbed, that is what Salisbury Museum sets out to do; admittedly it focuses on some time periods more than others. But it does it well, incorporating archaeological finds of national importance alongside some truly local bizarre treasures . . . well at least one giant one anyway.
There are a few museums that are just truly magical. Stepping through the stone Pitt Rivers Museum archway from the brightly lit, open atrium of the Oxford Natural History Museum is like stepping into Narnia. The space is darker and noticeably cooler. A hush descends as you step in as all visitors gasp in amazement, their breath taken temporarily stolen when faced with so much history and culture brought together under one roof and displayed in a manner they may never have seen before. Continue reading “Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford”