The British Museum. My favourite museum in the world. The BM is a fantastic place because of the marvels it contains. From Australia to Zimbabwe, you can see the world at the British Museum: every major civilisation is represented. Even the people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island) are represented. No kidding, there is one of those large statues in the Wellcome gallery… and here’s the photo to prove it!
The British Museum is where I’ve been hanging out in the last two weeks. Mind you, I have been spending most of my time doing research in the library of the Department of ancient Egypt and Sudan: a large room with bookshelves from floor to (very high) ceiling on three walls and large windows on the fourth. All the books I need are there at my disposal… I don’t even have to order them through interlibrary loan; they are all on the shelves! I have yet to need one they do not have. Isn’t that amazing? Not only do they have lots of books; they also have 90,000 Egyptian artefacts in the permanent collection, only 5% of which are on display! (At the NCMA, there are 40 objects…here are a select few…but 95% of the collection will be on display in the new pavilion.)
Not only am I surrounded by books and a wealth of artefacts, I am also surrounded by numerous Egyptologists, whom I can consult. Right now, I am working with John Taylor-this John Taylor is not the base player from Duran Duran, but the world’s leading specialist on coffins and mummies. We had supper at the Acropole Hotel in Khartoum a couple years ago and started a dialogue about the NCMA coffins and now we’re working together on an article about Djed Mut and Amunred.
As mentioned in my earlier post, the British Museum is the best place in the world (in my humble opinion) for Egyptological research… I’m not the only one doing research here right now. There have been students working from all over the world as well as professors and curators from other museums and members of the public who wish to read books on ancient Egypt or study artefacts. Last week, there was this older gentleman who wanted to have his photograph taken by a professional photographer while studying a papyrus! That was weird… those of us who witnessed this had a giggle.
Ah! The life of an archaeologist… never a dull moment.
Here’s a photograph taken by yours truly of the main entrance on Great Russell Street at about 1:30pm on Friday. Cheers!